Last Wednesday at the amphitheatre in front of Oakland’s city hall, occupiers endorsed Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel in a 135-to-one vote. Oakland’s occupiers have recently experienced chemical dispersants, and a mass arrest, which took place over the weekend. Among those arrested was Noura Khouri, the Palestinian organizer who initiated the BDS proposal. . .
Khouri, along with co-presenters Basima Sisemore and Deppen Webber, also touched on the use of chemical dispersants by the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and the Israeli military. "The same tear gas that is being used on the streets here against you all is being used in Palestine," said Sisemore. And, in fact, a portion of the occupiers at GA had experienced tear gas during the weekend’s "move-in day" actions, a failed attempt to occupy a vacant building. Throughout the march the OPD fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, flash-booms, and smoke grenades, on protesters, including children and elderly. One producer of these “non-lethal” weapons is Defense Technology, which is also used by the Israeli military. . .
Evergreen student Rachel Corrie, murdered in 2003 by the Israeli Defense Forces while protecting a house from demolition was counted as an inspiration for the resolution.
However, occupiers did not need much convincing on why BDS should be endorsed. During comments, an occupier named Alessandro said, "I am fully in support of this proposal," continuing, "U.S. imperialism is the biggest oppression in the entire world and Israel is their number one client." This was echoed by another who received an ovation for stating "I am indebted to Rachel Corrie for giving me the courage to stand in solidarity with oppressed people."