Eyewitness Palestine Delegates Help Power Big Win in Durham
In 2018, Durham became the first US city to bar police partnerships with the Israeli military. A number of Eyewitness Palestine delegates were involved in the campaign led by the Demilitarize Durham 2 Palestine Coalition.
The coalition successfully lobbied their city council to preemptively end police exchanges with Israel. In doing so, the campaign drove home the connection between police militarization in African American communities, and Israeli militarization in Palestine.
“It gave space and voice to people who have been marginalized and demonized,” explains Desmera G., an Eyewitness Palestine delegate and coalition organizer. “And it elevated the plight of communities viewed as powerless – including Palestinians, Muslims, people of color, and immigrants.”
By centering Palestinians and other people of color, the campaign is a practical example of the approach to racial justice and equity that Eyewitness Palestine and partner organizations have made a focus. “Demilitarize Durham 2 Palestine is a tool to educate and draw connections between Palestinians and black communities,” says delegate and organizer Ajamu D..
“The Eyewitness Palestine Delegation confirmed for me that the Palestinian solidarity work that I am engaged is important and needs to increase,” says Ajamu. “The delegation made the United States' role in the Israeli occupation clear.”
Though the initial campaign was successful, the Demilitarize Durham 2 Palestine Coalition is working to consolidate their success and bring the message to more people in the Triangle Area. As Desmera says: “We’re building pro-active strategies for solidarity.”
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