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Palestinian Freedom Riders
international | miscellaneous | press release Tuesday November 15, 2011 13:37 by Hurriyeh Ziadah - Palestinian Popular Struggle ruthedmonds at gmail dot com 00 972 0 523993946
Groups of Palestinian Freedom Riders will attempt to board segregated settler buses heading to Jerusalem through the occupied West Bank this Tuesday November 15, in an act of civil disobedience that takes its inspiration from the US Civil Rights Movement Freedom Riders aim to challenge Israelís apartheid policies, the ban on Palestiniansí access to Jerusalem, and the overall segregated reality created by a military and settler occupation that is the cornerstone of Israelís colonial regime.
Fifty years ago brave African American civil rights activists challenged the racist and unjust laws of Jim Crow by boarding buses to the segregated South, thereby embarking on a campaign of civil disobedience and direct action.
Right now, Palestinian activists, taking inspiration from the Civil Rights Movementís Freedom Rides, are embarking on a similar civil disobedience campaign to challenge Israelís regime of colonial apartheid in Palestine.
Although the tactics and methodologies differ, both white supremacists and the Israeli occupiers commit the same crime: they strip a people of freedom, justice and dignity. In undertaking this action we do not seek the desegregation of settler buses, as the presence of these colonizers and the infrastructure that serves them is illegal and must be dismantled. As part of our struggle for freedom, justice and dignity, we demand the ability to be able to travel freely on our own roads, on our own land, including the right to travel to Jerusalem.
We also aim to expose two of the companies that profit from Israelís apartheid policies and encourage global boycott of and divestment from them. The Israeli Egged and French Veolia bus companies operate dozens of segregated lines that run through the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, many of them subsidized by the state. Both companies are also involved in the Jerusalem Light Rail, a train project that links illegal settlements in East Jerusalem to the western part of the city.