Seven delegates from Black, Indigenous and Favela movements from Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador visited Palestine to learn about the reality of Israeli apartheid, settler-colonialism and military occupation. For a week they have met with Palestinian communities in struggle and share experiences of organizing and mobilizing.
The movements represented in the delegation include the United Black Movement (MNU), the National Network of Mothers and Relatives of the Victims of State Terrorism, the Network of Communities and Movements against Violence, the initiative Black July based in Rio de Janeiro, the Evangelical Front for the State of Law and the Coalition of Peripheral Media in Brazil as well as the Confederation of the Peoples of Kichwa Nationality in Ecuador (ECUARUNARI) and the Process of Black Communities (PCN) in Colombia.
Gizele Martins from the Initiative Black July says:
“We spent a week visiting many places and we were witnesses of how the Palestinian people have resisted militarization, racism and apartheid perpetrated by the State of Israel for decades. Listening to the testimonies and seeing with our own eyes the massacres that Palestinians are suffering, shows us that this is a big laboratory for a policy that impacts also the lives of black, poor, indigenous people and people from the favelas all across Latin America.
Cristiana Dos Santos Luiz of the United Black Movement comments:
“The human rights of the Palestinian population continue to be violated by the State of Israel. The world is closing its eyes, we need the international community and movements around the world to focus on the Palestinian struggle. Our goal was to exchange experiences and transform these meetings into concrete solidarity with the Palestinian people and build lasting ties between the Palestinians and our local struggles.
Fernando Cabascango of the Confederation of the Peoples of Kichwa Nationality in Ecuador (ECUARUNARI) adds:
“We call on our governments to take concrete steps to hold Israel’s apartheid regime to account, beginning with an immediate military embargo. We urge them to actively support the Palestinian call for the United Nations to recognize that Israel commits the crime against humanity of apartheid and to reactivate the UN Special Committee against Apartheid.”
After delegations from Mexico and Black, Indigenous and Latinx movements in the US, this is the third ‘World without Walls’ delegation, invited by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall). The World without Walls initiative is not only a recognition that physical and immaterial “walls” of injustice are rapidly growing around the world, but a space where we lift our heads beyond the ever worsening crises that people across the globe are facing and see beyond the walls, perceive the struggles of others and the connections between them.
Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign says:
“Israel’s regime of apartheid, conquest of our land and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian indigenous people is a practice rooted in European colonialism. We, therefore, feel a deep bond with the struggle of the Black and Indigenous people against structural racism, land theft and genocide today in Latin America.
“We are honoured to receive this delegation and are confident that this coming together will not only support our struggle against Israeli apartheid but strengthen our collective fight for justice, freedom and equality.”
The delegation has also highlighted the concrete support Israeli apartheid gives to the repression and dispossession of Black and Indigenous people and people in the favelas, whether through the military and surveillance technology it exports to Latin America or agribusiness technology, which support the privatization and theft of natural resources.