“When I see them, I see us,” is the message of a new video encouraging American black solidarity with Palestine, featuring American cultural luminaries and stars including Lauryn Hill, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Boots Riley, Angela Davis and Cornel West. The video includes activists and celebrities reading out the names of people killed and wounded by police, soldiers and missiles everywhere from New Orleans and Ferguson to Gaza and the West Bank.
As unrest and violence scorches across the Israel-Palestine region, they’ve made a powerful statement to link the activism of Black Lives Matter protesters — and the repression they face from law enforcement — with their counterparts in Palestine.
Lauryn Hill previously cancelled a performance in Tel Aviv under pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement because she couldn’t set up a similar show in Ramallah. She wrote on Facebook in May:
When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Setting up a performance in the Palestinian Territory, at the same time as our show in Israel, proved to be a challenge. I’ve wanted very much to bring our live performance to this part of the world, but also to be a presence supporting justice and peace. It is very important to me that my presence or message not be misconstrued, or a source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans. For this reason, we have decided to cancel the upcoming performance in Israel, and seek a different strategy to bring my music to ALL of my fans in the region. May healing, equanimity, and the openness necessary for lasting resolution and reconciliation come to this region and its people.