On January 18th, 2016, at Oscar Grant Plaza, more than 2,500 people attended the opening rally to reclaim MLK’s radical legacy to stand against capitalism, imperialism, racism, and policing. The march started at Oscar Grant Plaza and ended at the Emeryville Shopping Center, where Yuvette Henderson was murdered last year by EPD.
AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center joins forces with Third World Resistance to support Black power and resistance and to stand against the war on Black people everywhere in honor of Martin Luther King’s legacy. We echo the demands for dignity, liberation and self-determination from Oakland, to Haiti, to the Philippines, to our homelands, and all those fighting imperialism and state violence.
Today Arab people are facing the destruction of Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt at the hands of Israel, the United States, and Arab regimes. Our people are being locked up for taking to the streets in outrage at the complicity of their governments’ partnerships with Zionism and US imperialism. They are caged in by the Apartheid wall as Israel continues to confiscate more land, kill more families, demolish more neighborhoods, and displace entire communities. Yet the attempts by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia to destabilize the Arab World continues to be met with unwavering resistance.
All the while, the US wages a global war on Black people and all those fighting for self-determination. We are witnessing state sanctioned executions of Black and Brown people by police using tools, trainings and weapons from apartheid Israel. More and more young, poor, Black and Brown people are being funneled into cages as our leaders and political prisoners remain behind bars aided by Israeli surveillance technology. The indigenous people of this land continue to be wiped away one day at a time, as Israel continues its policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people.
We ask ourselves, why is it that Israel trains local police? Why is it the largest producer of surveillance technology? Why do billions of dollars go through the hands of apartheid Israel and the most brutal regimes in the world? Why is it that it has become nearly criminal to criticize Israel in the US?
Israel is in fact instrumental to US imperialism and global repression. Its existence is necessary for the economic and political devastation of Arabs, and has helped crush movements worldwide – from Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Israel is a reminder of the sheer commitment of the US and its allies in maintaining power and profit, from the streets of Ferguson to Jerusalem.
Yet, people all across the world are building power and looking to one another for strength and inspiration. People fighting back have shown us that it is a responsibility for all of us to deepen our commitment to one another, to fight economic exploitation, and to fight for land and liberation.
We know that the liberation of Arab people from here to our homelands is inextricably linked to Black liberation. We know that anti-Blackness is manifested in Zionism, imperialism and colonialism. And we know that we have the duty to continue to build across our struggles. For this, we honor the spirit of Martin Luther King. We honor his uncompromising commitment to internationalism. We honor all those who continue to fight to win.