Philly BDS stands in solidarity with the millions of people in the Middle East struggling for freedom and democracy as they define it, not as defined by the United States, Israel, or other outside powers.
We celebrated with the people of Egypt and around the world on February 11th when former President Hosni Mubarak finally ceded to pressures to step down. Since then, Egyptian people’s efforts to ensure a real transition to democracy has only just begun. Among their many demands, we support Egyptians’ continued efforts to unravel unequal economic systems, unjust labor practices, and bring justice to past human rights abuses in the country.
While our hearts are largely focused on the Middle East–in Egypt, Palestine, Yemen, Tunesia, Lybia, Bahrain, Algeria, and more–we hold the United States accountable for supporting the Egyptian and countless other regimes through military aid and political support. We recognize that the U.S. acts on its interest to maintain power structures in the face of injustice and violence instead of supporting peoples’ struggles for democracy.
Our state of Pennsylvania produces the tear gas canisters fired at nonviolent protesters and civilians around the world. The U.S. gives $4 million a year to Israel and Egypt, largely supporting the suppression of popular voices such as those in Tahrir Square earlier this month. As Pennsylvanians and citizens of the United States we call for an end to these policies and recognition of people’s right to govern themselves.
As a coalition working to support Palestinian struggle for self-autonomy by answering the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions, we are dedicated to for justice in Philadelphia, the Middle East, and around the world.