FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE 31 March 2011
Chicago Activists Mark Palestinian Land Day with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Flash–Mob
Flash Mob Video: http://psgchicago.org/?p=508
“BDS” song available for download: http://vocalo.org/blogs/archive/201103/boycott-divestment-and-sanctions-jackson-5-sytle
On March 30th at 5 pm, a group of social justice activists held a “flash-mob” in downtown Chicago. The demonstration was organized as one of hundreds of demonstrations held around the world to mark the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Global Day of Action, an annual event designed to call attention to the movement to boycott the apartheid policies of Israel. Demonstrators performed a choreographed dance to an original song called “BDS,” a parody of “ABC” by the Jackson Five.
“In the lyrics to our song, we sing ‘apartheid and ethnic cleansing go on in Palestine every day, but without the help of you and your money, the occupation will go away.’ While the struggle to end Israel’s apartheid policies is not an easy one, it’s true that we in the United States can support justice and peace by refusing to support companies and institutions that support Israel and its occupation of Palestine,” said Joy Ellison, an activist with Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago (PSG-Chicago). “We hope that this flash mob empowers our community to stand up against apartheid and challenges Chicago businesses and institutions that are actively supporting the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Before this performance at “The Bean” in Millennium Park, the flash mob was held outside of Chicago Cultural Center, home of the Chicago Sister Cities International office. For the last two years, activists with PSG-Chicago have pressured the city of Chicago to end its relationship with its Israeli sister city, Petach Tikva. Petach Tikva, an officially segregated city, is the first Jewish-only settlement in historic Palestine and the site of the primary detention center where Israeli forces abuse and torture Palestinian political prisoners. Human Rights group Amnesty International dubbed Petach Tikva “Israel’s Guantanamo.”
The Chicago flash-mob was organized by PSG-Chicago, but participants came from several Chicago-based pro-Palestine organizations. PSG-Chicago was formed to establish a diverse, broad-based organization whose main purpose is to advocate and organize around the following issues: ending the illegal, Israeli occupation of all Palestinian and Arab land; the implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which speaks to the comprehensive Right of Return for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants. For more information on PSG visit: http://psgchicago.org/
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions day of Action is organized by the Palestinian BDS National Committee and is held in honor of Palestinian Land Day. Land Day commemorates the events of March 30th, 1976, when Israeli security forces shot and killed six young Palestinian citizens of Israel during a Palestinian general strike in protest of Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land. Land Day symbolizes Palestinian resistance to Israel’s ongoing land expropriation, apartheid, colonization and occupation.
For more information about Land Day and the boycott, divestment and Sanctions movement, visit:http://www.bdsmovement.net/