If your group would like to be added to the statement please email tom [at] shoalcollective.org
This joint statement is made collectively by radical groups in the city of Bristol. We are writing to express solidarity with our comrades in Palestine, and rage at the Israeli attacks which have, in 11 days, claimed the lives of 247 Palestinian people, including 66 children.
Israel may have temporarily ceased its aerial attack on Gaza, but it is continuing its attacks on Palestinians in East Jerusalem, with soldiers storming the Al Aqsa mosque again just hours after the declared ceasefire. The system of apartheid and military occupation remains in place and is claiming lives daily
Israeli politicians and military spokespeople may claim that the attacks on Gaza were about Israeli security, but in fact the assault was carefully choreograped by the Israeli state. The initial attack on Al-Aqsa mosque – the third most holy site in Islam – during Ramadan was intended to provoke an armed response from Gaza and provide a pretext for the current attack. The aim of these attacks is to wipe out any possibility of resisting Israel’s ongoing seizure of Palestinian land and to strengthen Israeli settler colonialism.
Those killed in the ongoing attacks are ordinary people. With families and loved ones. To give just one example, an Israeli bombing on Sunday 16 May killed a mother and her four children in Gaza City.
The attack this year is the fourth full-scale assault that the people of Gaza have suffered since 2009.
Inside Israel’s borders and in the West Bank people have been under intense attack too. Palestinian cities within Israel have seen their streets patrolled by armed Zionist extremists, backed up by the violence of the Israeli police. Mosques and Muslim graveyards have been attacked and people have been beaten, shot dead and lynched.
In the West Bank – under occupation by the Israeli military – people have been holding demonstrations in many cities and villages. They have been met by a hail of live bullets. Many have died, including Montaser Mahmoud Zeidan Jawabr, who was shot while attending a demonstration on Tuesday 18th in solidarity with those under attack in Gaza. He was a young father of four children.
Many more people have experienced the violence of Israeli colonists. On Thursday, Wafa’ Abdul-Rahim Barade’ey was shot dead by a well known Israeli settler extremist while walking on the streets of Hebron. She was a mother of five children. Her death is likely to go unpunished under the occupation’s apartheid legal system.
All of this violence is being done in the name of settler colonialism. It is aimed at pushing Palestinians out of their lands and erasing Palestinian lives and culture. As anti-racists and internationalists we support the Palestinian uprising that is underway. We acknowledge the steadfastness and courage of our Palestinian comrades in continuing to resist this colonial violence.
We know that words are not enough; so we will take every opportunity to support the struggle on the streets. We will do whatever we can in our groups and in our organising to educate ourselves on the Palestinian struggle, and to listen to the calls from our Palestinian comrades.
We wholeheartedly support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) – to read more about BDS see https://bdsmovement.net/call.
We know that right here in Bristol companies like Elbit – the largest private Israeli arms company – are profiting from Israel’s attacks on Palestinians. Meanwhile, Bristol’s universities are investing in companies complicit in the occupation (see https://apartheidoffcampus.org). We pledge to stand with those struggling in Palestine and to answer their calls for people globally to take action.
Victory to the Intifada*
Bristol Kurdistan Solidarity Network
Bristol Plan C
Easton Cowfolk Bristol
The Easton Cowgirls and Cowboys Anti-fascist football team
Base and Roses
Bristol Against the Arms Trade
Bristol Action Medics
Bristol Anarchist Black Cross
Bristol Anarchist Federation
Palestine Action Bristol
Bristol Women’s Strike Assembly
Bristol Anti Fascists
Bristol Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
Bristol Defendant Solidarity
* Intifada means uprising, or ‘shaking off’