The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) expresses its strongest support for the Black and other oppressed communities, organizations, and movements that have taken to the streets to demand justice and accountability in the wake of the ongoing and pervasive criminalization, hyper-incarceration, and state murder of Black persons in the United States, particularly the recent police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
These protests reflect a lengthy history especially of Black struggle against the systematic structures of racism and oppression that have been part of the settler colonial and racial capitalist projects of the United States since its inception. They also reflect awareness of and rage at the police as agents of a U.S. state invested in upholding white supremacy, capitalist inequality, and use of violence to repress dissent.
USACBI also notes that the Minneapolis police who murdered George Floyd worked for a department that has trained its forces in Israel, a common practice among U.S. police forces. As Amnesty International has reported, such training places “[U.S.] police and other U.S. law enforcement employees in the hands of military, security, and police systems that have racked up documented human rights violations for years.”
In fact, the tactics of choking via headlocks or knees to the neck and chest regions are mainstay abuses of the Israeli military against the indigenous Palestinian population. These training programs between US police and Israeli occupation military forces, termed a “Deadly Exchange” by human rights organizations, normalize state violence—including murder—against racialized and oppressed populations in the U.S. and occupied Palestine alike.
We recognize, of course, that U.S. police violence, particularly against Black and Indigenous people, long predates the state of Israel. However, this Deadly Exchange represents an ominous, and more deadly, militarization of U.S. policing. It evokes the globalization of colonial state killing, suppression, surveillance, and sharing of death and control technology between racist states and security agencies,which most acutely targets Black, Indigenous, and Palestinian communities inside the U.S. and occupied Palestine as well as the liberation and social justice movements defending them.
USACBI supports swift accountability for all four of the police present at George Floyd’s murder; defunding the police and the redirection of financial resources throughout the United States from policing to community response programs that provide aid and support services in response to incidents of conflict and crisis; meaningful redress and reparations for historical and ongoing crimes against Black and Indigenous peoples; and freedom for all political prisoners in U.S. and Israeli jails, particularly the prisoners of the Black Liberation Movement and the Palestinian Liberation Movement. We call also for an end to militarized police, including the cessation to all training of U.S. police and law enforcement personnel by the forces of Israeli state apartheid in occupied Palestine. We know that justice will not be achieved simply by convictions of murderous police in a court of law. Instead, the very structures of white supremacy, capitalist exploitation and U.S. imperialism must be defeated and dismantled–and replaced by structures of solidarity, social justice, and radical love.
- BDS Movement, We can’t breathe until we’re free! Palestinians stand in solidarity with Black Americans (May 30)
- Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, From Gaza to Minneapolis, one struggle for justice and liberation! (May 28)
- Palestine Legal, In Solidarity With Minneapolis (May 29)
- Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Statement of Solidarity for Black lives and Black struggle (June 1)
- Black Alliance for Peace, From George Floyd to the Structural Violence of Capitalism (June 1)
Image Credit: Lina Abojaradeh, Palestinian artist