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Transnational Solidarity Wall Statement

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CISA, IC, SJP, VISTA ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT ON MOCK WALL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

On Tuesday morning, Williams College woke up to find a wall on Paresky lawn. The wall consists of wooden panels with artwork that draws attention to the similarities between the Israeli apartheid wall in the West Bank and the US/Mexico border wall. It is a collective project between Coalition for Immigrant Student Advancement (CISA), International Club (IC), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Vista. By putting up a mock wall on the center of campus, interrupting the space between Paresky and Sawyer, we hope to force our fellow students to reflect on the impact of walls like these– and all militarized borders– on the daily existence of millions of people. While this mock wall does not significantly impede students at Williams, in reality walls are life-threatening structures that encroach on the everyday lives of communities from Palestine to Latin America and beyond. From Palestinian women giving birth at checkpoints, to loved ones being separated for decades, to ICE detention centers and deportations, walls violently oppress those who live behind and across them.

As students committed to justice, we know that Israel’s apartheid wall and Trump’s border wall in the United States are two sides of the same coin of white supremacy and settler colonial violence. Through our mock wall on Paresky lawn, we hope that students feel encouraged to build knowledge, break the silence surrounding these issues, and begin to take action together. We stand in solidarity with members of our community who are personally affected by militarized borders, and we stand in solidarity with struggles for liberation, and particularly indigenous resistance, everywhere.

To complement the wall, we are organizing a talk with Professor Amal Eqeiq and a journalist and activist in Gaza on the topic of contemporary protests in Gaza and Transnational Solidarity from Mexico and Palestine this Wednesday at 5PM in Hopkins 002. How can we tear down walls from Mexico to Palestine? What does it mean to resist and build solidarity across borders? What is going in Gaza right now and how are they affected by borders? This talk will interrogate these questions and will be followed by a vigil to mourn and commemorate lives lost at border crossings and protests. Dinner will be served. Bring questions and a friend!

Finally, please join us to TEAR DOWN THE WALL on Tuesday, May 1st at 12PM on Paresky lawn. #MexicoToPalestine #BuildBridgesNotWalls #LongLiveInternationalSolidarity

 
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#1 Comment By Solomon On April 24, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

Anyone interested in pictures:
https://ibb.co/fPHcdc
https://ibb.co/cYzqyc

#2 Comment By JCD 📌 On April 24, 2018 @ 7:50 pm

I don’t know. The Palestinians were on the wrong side of WW II. Some of them still name their children after Adolf Hitler. They sort of lost their land fair and square when they ran away in cowardice instead of defending it. God knows they felt no sympathy for my Armenian relatives when they were mass murdered by Turkish Muslims. I don’t have any incentive to support them against my friends in Israel.

As an aside, these students seem angry about the wall we are building to keep out Mexicans. I think they should check out the walls that Mexicans build around their own homes to keep out their fellow Mexicans.

Anyone interested in pictures:

http://www.whynotsail.com/mexico/Day4/sierrafria384.jpg
https://1005klahanie.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/orange-wall.jpg

#3 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On April 25, 2018 @ 7:55 am

Solomon: Thanks! I added the images to the post.

Lily: Did this e-mail go out on the all-student mailing list? The College has, in the past, not allowed random student groups to use that, reserving it for “official” college messages. But, I think, there have been exceptions.

Readers: Should we spend a few days on this?

#4 Comment By tolstoyite On April 25, 2018 @ 8:14 am

This is interesting. Have students created a protest artifact of this scale before? Will supporters of Israel respond? Will students properly recycle the wall after the protest is over (or save it for next year), or will it be left to facilities to clean up?

#5 Comment By frank uible On April 25, 2018 @ 8:29 am

“Wall or no wall” is an important issue, but discussion of it here is unlikely to produce much light. After all, our federal government in its wonderful incompetence has messed up second base so badly that no one can play it.

#6 Comment By Aidan On April 25, 2018 @ 9:55 am

Hard to tell if they’re serious if this action isn’t coupled with a college-wide SodaStream boycott.

#7 Comment By Lily Shao On April 25, 2018 @ 10:25 am

@David Dudley Field ’25: the email was sent to the all-student mailing list.

#8 Comment By Whitney Wilson ’90 On April 25, 2018 @ 10:39 am

@Lily Shao. Thanks for posting. Has there been any all campus response to the assertions made in the email made by any students or student groups (i.e. an apartheid wall)?

#9 Comment By problematic On April 25, 2018 @ 4:27 pm

are two sides of the same coin of white supremacy and settler colonial violence.

I know this is a common line in the pro-Palestinian movement, but it’s super problematic. Israeli Jews are a pretty diverse bunch, ethnically speaking (and, according to most white supremacists, are all non-white). Also, by most reasonable measures, Jews are indigenous to the region — a status that the “settle colonial” label removes.

I am in no way, shape, or manner attempting to diminish or apologize for the many serious problems with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians — some of which have commonalities with race-related conflicts elsewhere. But applying the above labels to this conflict is at best misleading. At worst, these labels begin to feed into some dangerous views.

#10 Comment By Alum-Anon On April 25, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

This is one of the more idiotic communications to come out of the College.

Perhaps these students need a primer on the realities of topics such as human trafficking:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/human-smuggling-across-the-southern-border/

…and drug trafficking:

https://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2016/08/mexican-drugs-enter-u-s-record-rates-western-states-heroin-transit-zone/

…and maybe also some sober consideration of who is actually injured most by poorly protected borders and related traffic.

#11 Comment By amunzer On April 27, 2018 @ 1:58 pm

#12 Comment By PTC On May 14, 2018 @ 2:04 pm

Seems like this topic might be more relevant now?

Anything?