Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

BDS

By Robyn Harbison

Crowd marches behind banner that says "Divest from genocide. Human rights for all."

Minneapolis, MN – On December 10, the MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) organized a rally and march of 2000 people on International Human Rights Day to draw attention to the U.S.-sponsored human rights abuses enacted by Israel on Palestinians. The AWC holds a protest every year to highlight the importance of International Human Rights Day.

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By Merlin Van Alstine

U of MN SDS disrupts regents meeting demanding divestment from Israel. | Fight Back! News/staff

Minneapolis, MN – On December 8, students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and members of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities chapter of Students for a Democratic Society attended the monthly Board of Regents meeting to demand that the University of Minnesota divest from Israel.

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By Sorcha Lona

Crowd gathers waving Palestinian flags in front of the Minnesota State Capitol building.

St. Paul, MN – On the evening of November 28, 500 protesters gathered in below freezing temperatures on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. The protest, organized by the Free Palestine Coalition,  demanded that the State Board of Investment (SBI) divest over $1 billion currently invested in Israeli bonds, banks, weapons manufacturers and other entities that profit from Israeli apartheid.

In total, the SBI manages and invests over $128 billion of Minnesota taxpayer money. Board members include Governor Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, State Auditor Julie Blaha and Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Held on the eve of the SBI meeting on November 29, which is also the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the protest was a continuation of a multi-year campaign spearheaded by groups, including the MN Anti-War Committee, to demand the SBI divest public pension funds from the system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing in occupied Palestine.

Despite the cold, a large crowd formed on the capitol steps to attend the rally. It was evidence of the passion and dedication the Palestinian cause has brought about during the decades of occupation.

Mariam El-Khatib, a member of American Muslims for Palestine, kicked off the rally, “America, it’s a fact. Israel would not be able to do what it’s doing without the U.S. We are funding the ethnic cleansing of the people of Palestine. We are funding the killing of children. We are funding the killing of civilians. We are funding the bombing of hospitals. We are funding Israel’s war crimes and atrocities. So whether you like it or not, all of us are implicated – because we live in this country and pay tax dollars. So whether you like it or not we have to speak up!”

Skyler Dorr, a rank-and-file member of AFSCME 3800 at the University of Minnesota and an anti-Zionist Jew, stated, “I am a pissed off public employee, and I don’t want my retirement fund invested in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine! Shame on the State Board of Investment for implicating all of us in genocide, shame!”

As the last speaker on the program, Brian Chval from the MN Anti-War Committee rallied the crowd, “As the tax paying constituents of the state of Minnesota, I think we should have a say in how our money is invested. So I ask you, $283 million for weapons manufacturers that sell to Israel. Invest or divest? Nearly $50 million for Siemens, who provides electrical grid services to Israel and its settlements on stolen Palestinian land. Invest or divest? Almost $25 million in direct investments in Israel in the form of bonds, who has occupied and oppressed Palestinians for over 75 years. Invest or divest?”

Each time, the crowd erupted, “Divest!”

Other speakers included Julia Pearlstein-Levy from Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Palestinian activist Dr. Christine Harb, and Natasha Dockter of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59.

Protesters were encouraged to come back to the capitol the next day to attend the State Board of Investment meeting.

#StPaulMN #FreePalestine #UMN #SBI #Divest #BDS

By Wyatt Miller

Group of protesters wearing keffiyehs and holding Palestinian flags raise their hands to disrupt a meeting.

St. Paul, MN – On Wednesday, November 29, Palestine solidarity activists spoke at the Minnesota State Board of Investment (SBI)’s quarterly meeting, demanding divestment of state-managed pension funds and other public monies from Israeli weapons manufacturers, banks and bonds, and other entities complicit in Israel’s apartheid system in Palestine.

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By Josh Rudd

Dallas Black Friday die-in exposing the genocide in Gaza. | Fight Back! News/staff

Dallas, TX – Residents of Dallas gathered at NorthPark Mall on Black Friday, November 24, as at least 200 community members showed up for three simultaneous actions for Palestine, including a die-in inside the mall, a banner-drop off of Highway 75, and a picket outside of the main entrance to the mall.

Organizers handed out flyers and held signs to spread awareness of both the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, as well as flyers promoting an online petition calling on the Dallas City Council to pass a resolution condemning the occupation and genocide in Palestine, and demanding direct U.S. humanitarian aid to the people of Palestine.

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By Sarah Martin

Protestors hold signs that say slogans like "Let Gaza Live" and "Say No To Genocide".

 St Paul, MN – 100 people rallied at the weekly Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) bannering at rush hour at the intersection of Snelling and Summit Avenues, November 17. People gathered to show their outrage of against the Israeli bombings on children, hospitals, homes and schools.

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By Gage Lacharite

Students protest university funding of Israeli apartheid. | Fight Back! News/staff

Tampa, FL – Students at the University of South Florida demonstrated their opposition to the ongoing bombing of Gaza on Thursday, October 26. 75 students representing a slew of organizations marched across campus from a busy intersection across from the administrative building, over to a plaza near the student center, chanting “Free Palestine” and “Hey USF you can’t hide! You are funding genocide!”

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By staff

Group of activists march with signs and Palestinian flags on a sidewalk

Grand Rapids, MI – Hundreds gathered in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 15 in the afternoon to support the Palestinian resistance against Israeli apartheid. They joined a worldwide solidarity movement in response to the Israeli government's retaliation against the Palestinian resistance launch of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

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By Adam Biel

Twin Cities event promotes divestment from apartheid Israel.

Minneapolis, MN – Dozens of activists, students and community members packed Mayday Books on February 2 for an informational panel on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and how it relates to Minnesota’s State Board of Investments (SBI). BDS is an international movement started by a coalition of Palestinian civil societies to put pressure on Israel to end apartheid and the occupation of Palestine. The panel focused attention on the SBI’s involvement in the funding of atrocities against Palestine and its people and the ways in which the masses abroad can engage in meaningful boycotts.

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By Andrew Josefchak

Minnesotans demand divestment from Israel

Saint Paul, MN – On August 23, more than 40 protesters gathered outside the governor’s mansion, home to Governor Tim Walz, to demand Minnesota’s State Board of Investment (SBI) sell off its shares in Israeli corporations. The SBI is tasked with investing taxpayer money for public funds, largely state pensions.

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