Block the Boat Northwest
Statement in Solidarity with Mike Brown
November 20, 2014
Block the Boat Northwest is a coalition of Pacific Northwest activists committed to disrupting ‘business as usual’ with the State of Israel until Israel ends its violation of the human rights of Palestinian people everywhere. Today, we stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson. We are reminded again that we are in a joint struggle against a brutal hyper-militarized police state that dehumanizes the lives and experiences of poor people, the indigenous inhabitants of the land, and people of color, from Palestine to occupied Duwamish land.
On August 9, 2014, 18-year old Michael Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for walking in the middle of the street. Witnesses report that he was unarmed, holding his hands over his head as he was shot once in the chest and five times in the back. The cold-blooded murder of yet one more young black male launched ongoing protests in a community that had long suffered from poverty, racism, and police brutality. As expected, the police responded with extreme violence and repression. Today, as we await the grand jury decision on whether to indict officer Wilson, we reflect on the similarities between state repression in the US and Israel, where law enforcement translates into state-sponsored violations of the human rights of occupied peoples.
The hyper-militarization of police forces in both countries is obvious. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has activated the National Guard to support law enforcement in Ferguson, violating people’s right to gather and protest the murder of an unarmed black male, while Israeli soldiers, members of the official so-called Israeli Defense Forces, daily maintain an illegal occupation in Palestine, disrupting every aspect of the everyday life of Palestinians. In the US, the KKK has rallied in the defense of Brown’s murderer, just as in Israel, soldiers protect the criminal Israeli settlers, whose very presence in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank is illegal. In both countries, the state uses tear gas, rubber bullets, sound cannons, mass round-ups and incarceration to repress lawful protesters denouncing the violation of their human rights. In both countries, the police are so afraid of the truth coming out that they have harassed, threatened, and attacked the press. Photo evidence shows riot police firing tear gas directly at reporters in Ferguson and forcefully taking away their cameras, just as we know Israeli soldiers prevent journalists from covering their crimes and those of other Israeli settlers committed daily in occupied Palestine.
Today, we stand in solidarity with the brave people of Ferguson as they bring national and international attention to rampant law enforcement violence and police brutality against their community. We stand in joint struggle with the people of Ferguson and with the Palestinian people. We call for an end to the militarization of police everywhere, and for an end to the dehumanization and criminalization of poor people, people of color, and communities in resistance from Ferguson to Jerusalem.
Block the Boat Northwest