As you may have read in The Intercept, the New Orleans City Council made history last week by unanimously passing a resolution calling for a process to avoid contracting with or investing in companies that profit from abuses of human rights, civil rights, labor rights, and other violations.
The resolution was spearheaded by USCPR member group New Orleans Palestine Solidarity Committee (NOPSC). It is an important step toward implementing boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) in New Orleans to hold Israel accountable for its violations of Palestinian rights, and to stand with other communities struggling for their rights.
The resolution was introduced by the New Orleans Mayor-elect and Councilmember, Latoya Cantrell, following an inspiring, year-long campaign by NOPSC. This is among the strongest municipal wins to date, encompassing both boycotts and divestment, and is the first of its kind in the South. We celebrate this victory today, on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, remembering the critical role of boycotts used in the Civil Rights Movement in protest of apartheid policies in the Jim Crow South.
This type of support – municipal BDS campaigns – is critical for putting pressure on Israel. Only two weeks into 2018, Israel has killed three 16-year old Palestinian boys, arrested scores of Palestinian men and boys in night raids, announced the construction of over 1,000 new housing units in the illegal settlements, extended the detention of teenage activist Ahed Tamimi, and issued a blacklist of organizations supporting BDS.
Israel has to know that its impunity will not continue. BDS wins, like the one in New Orleans last week, show that the tide is turning and Israeli apartheid’s time is running out.
Municipal campaigns similar to the one in New Orleans are underway nationwide, and this is just the beginning of what’s to come in 2018. Be a part of it: start a municipal campaign in your community! Click here for more information, including a webinar and toolkits on implementing municipal campaigns.
Make the change you want to see in your community, and know that standing up for Palestinian rights also involves standing up for other marginalized communities. As NOPSC organizer Tabitha Mustafa explained, “New Orleans is a city that has a tragic history with human rights. Whether in Honduras or Palestine or Vietnam, companies that profit from the misery of New Orleanians and our families abroad should not do business with the City of New Orleans.”
From North Carolina to Oregon, from Missouri to Colorado to, now, New Orleans, municipal campaigns are a powerful tool to expose oppression and hold the perpetrators accountable. Learn how you can bring a municipal campaign to your community!