P.E.D.A.L. 100 days to Palestine
Popular Resistance Movements
Direct Action on B.D.S.
Arts and Culture
Linking Stories of Struggle
Leaving March 21st 2011
Political (or positive) resistance is when “politically oppressed groups fight back against the powers that oppress them” and “aims at change”. Lennard Davis
P.E.D.A.L. is a group of food growers, artists, community organizers, cyclists, campaigners and journalists, planning to cycle from London to Palestine in 100 days in Spring 2011. Across the world communities are fighting battles against economic, environmental and political injustice. Nowhere more do we see this than with the Palestinian people struggling for self-reliance, political rights, and liberation
The international political community is taking no real action to stop the daily oppression and violence used by the Israeli government to maintain the occupation of Palestine; the continued construction of illegal settlements in the occupied territories,the illegal blockade on Gaza, and illegal construction of the Wall in Palestinian territory.
These actions by the Israeli government add up to a systematic theft of land, water, time and space from the Palestinian people.
No effective steps have been taken to reprimand those responsible for the IDF’s numerous illegal military operations, such as Operation Cast Lead in January 2009 (Link- http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE15/015/2009/en) and the flotilla attack in April 2010
In the shadow of the failure of international powers we see the strength and courage of the Israeli and Palestinian popular resistance movements- forcing the change that needs to happen- in fighting for self-reliance, political rights, and liberation.
We are responding to the call-out born from Palestinian civil society in 2005 for international support of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions campaign.
Our 100 day journey will track communities fighting for social and environmental justice where we will contribute to the sites we visit and share stories, skills and strategies for resistance- mapping counter-cultures from the UK to Palestine.
P.E.D.A.L. will pollinate information, plans and campaigns on BDS to expand the network fighting the occupation. We will trace a trail of those who profit-from and are complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestine- highlighting their involvement in settlement trade and normalizing the Israeli state’s oppressive actions.
We will support the BDS campaign of highlighting the role of the Jewish National Fund in removing access to land for Palestinians in the name of environmentalism.
And during the 100 days we will visit and work with communities resisting those who prevent access to land and community control of resources linking peasant movements across Europe to the Middle East.
P.E.D.A.L. cycles in solidarity with groups using legal structures to bring justice to those who deepen the occupation, and also those using civil disobedience as necessary action.
Through popular education and creative methods in the communities we visit P.E.D.A.L. will celebrate the cultures and arts of resistance and form a document of the messages of solidarity, stories of hope and strategies for radical political change.
As we collect the material for the document we will share this through video and audio diaries building dialogue between the ride, the communities on the route and grassroots movements in Israel and Palestine.
P.E.D.A.L. is self-organized on a participative level- making decisions collectively through consensus processes. (Link- Seeds for Change, Rhizome)
We are committed to integrating an anti-oppression framework and analysis into all of our work. This means addressing whose voices are heard, which priorities are chosen, what actions are taken, who does the work, and who gets the credit.
1. Responding to the Call-out for support of the BDS campaign
In 2005 171 Palestinian civil society groups in the Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI) called for international support for the Palestinian struggle through the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
For the last five years the BDS campaign has been effective in questioning the legitimacy of Israel’s actions on an international level. BDS forces governments, companies and people to take responsibility for the normalization of the illegal occupation.
We have seen the power of the Israeli state questioned as popular resistance movements in Palestine, Israel and across the world have used legal cases and civil disobedience to good effect; directly challenging the economic and political forces that support Israel’s flouting of international law.
There are many BDS victories to cite, such as the European Union recently imposing strict customs sanctions on products manufactured in the settlements. And the Norwegian government disinvesting from the Israeli hi-tech contracting company Elbit Systems because of its direct involvement with the construction of the wall.
As the crackdown on popular resistance organizers in both Palestine and Israel expands P.E.D.A.L. will take the BDS tactic across Europe and into the Middle East; sharing information and working to build strong networks in solidarity with those fighting the oppression of the Israeli state.
Our journey will trace a trail of corporations complicit in the illegal occupation; highlighting their profiteering in the resource theft by the Israeli state of the Palestinian people.
We will do solidarity work around court cases for BDS actions and support protest taken to highlight and prevent the Israeli government’s breaking of fundamental human rights, and the complicity of corporations in the illegal occupation.
In cycling the 4,000 miles from London to Palestine, P.E.D.A.L. will also raise money for front-line medical equipment and resources for Gaza’s under-stocked and over-stretched health services.
2. Linking Communities & Cultures of Resistance: “We are Everywhere”
‘The universe is made of stories, not atoms’ Muriel Rukeyser
Our lives are filled with stories. From the ones our parents told to us as children, to the ones we read in newspapers to the ones we tell ourselves. Some provide morals, others entertainment, and some create glimpses into the lives of others.
In a world governed by stories of money and power, with money and power governing how stories are told: we want to tell our own.
P.E.D.A.L. travels through Europe to the Middle East to share stories with people fighting to build new worlds and standing up to the destructive political and economic systems that create conflict and struggle.
We believe sharing stories builds social movements and creates a culture of solidarity- a culture that maintains ‘We are Everywhere’.
Humanity has a rich tradition of political resistance. Through our art, our music, our literature and more, we hear the brave stories of people standing up to oppression and violent rulers.
We want to continue this tradition and so P.E.D.A.L. will be a living, breathing, cycling tool kit visiting communities to share our experiences; our skills and strategies for resistance.
We will be spending three days at a time in various communities on our route- from collective farms to autonomous free-schools to migration solidarity camps: working to contribute to the sites and sharing workshops, presentations, films, performance, and other creative forms.
We aim for our journey to celebrate art and cultures of resistance, and illuminate methods for radical social change.
We will collate these collaborations to form a document of our 100 days to Palestine- capturing the stories of hope, messages of solidarity and resistance strategies.
During the ride we will be updating video and audio-diaries to create dialogue between P.E.D.A.L., the communities we visit and people on both sides of the wall struggling to end the Israeli state’s illegal occupation of Palestine.
3. Environmental Justice and ‘Big up the Bike’
Israel’s systematic construction of illegal and exclusively Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory has stripped the Palestinian people of a wealth of natural resources- from water supplies to arable land.
P.E.D.A.L. will visit communities involved in struggles for access to land and water, and fighting for food autonomy; linking peasant networks across Europe to Palestine, and extending seed-sharing communities.
The bike ride will highlight the involvement of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in maintaining Israel’s regime of apartheid. The JNF and its affiliate organizations enjoy charitable status in 50 countries as environmental charities, despite the JNF being legislated to carry out Israeli-government functions.
The JNF’s holds land in trust for “those of Jewish race or descendendency to promote the interests of Jews in the prescribed region”. The JNF has direct control of 13% of the land in pre-1967 Israel, and appoints six out of thirteen member of the governing board of the Israel Lands Authority (ILA) which also controls another 80% of land in Israel.
Scratch beneath the surface of JNF’s shining public image to see the forestation, parks and recreational facilities on the ruins of destroyed Palestinian villages. P.E.D.A.L. works with and promotes the campaigns of groups exposing the JNF’s greenwashing of apartheid- taking information and to forge new relationships
The group has decided to cycle to Palestine to promote long-distance travel without relying on fossil fuels- an issue which is especially relevant in a region in which fossil fuel economies exacerbate conflict on a global scale.
In cycling to Palestine the group will be closer to changing geographical and cultural landscapes, and to the stories of the land they ride through.
Monday, 7 March 2011
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