Once in a while our side wins. In recent weeks, vocal and widespread campaigns to compel the U.S. government to allow dissidents into the country to speak have succeeded, reinforcing my life’s credo: the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
[Granted, Frederick Douglass was more eloquent: “Without struggle there is no progress,” but since he freed himself from slavery, taught himself to read and went on to become a great abolitionist leader and one of the finest orators of the nineteenth century, how could anyone compete with that?]
Anyway, Malalai Joya of Afghanistan, author of A Woman Among Warlords and named one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people in the world” was granted a visa to speak here after many of you heeded calls to write and protest her exclusion from the United States. Joya’s opening night last Friday at Harvard with Noam Chomsky was reportedly a magnificent event, soon to be aired on WeAreMany.org. Her next speaking gig is this evening in Chicago at 7PM at the Chopin Theater, details here.
Palestinian scholar, activist and author of a magnificent new book on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement on Israel, Omar Barghouti, just got a visa as well. I read the book the week it came out and it is best tool a developing movement could have asked for. Go hear him speak, pick up the book and read it for yourself. Please see his publisher’s press release about the book and speaking tour below.
For Immediate Release
Following an International Pressure Campaign, Palestinian Author Omar Barghouti Granted Visa to Tour U.S. for Release of New Book
“A lucid and morally compelling book… perfecting timed to make a major contribution
to this urgently needed global campaign for justice, freedom and peace.”
–Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“No one has done more to build the intellectual, legal and moral case for BDS than Omar Barghouti.
The global Palestinian solidarity movement has been transformed and is on the cusp of major new breakthroughs.
–Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine
Barghouti to Visit Northeastern U.S. April 9-15 | Full Tour Details Below
Chicago, IL, March 29—After months of extended delays and an international public pressure campaign, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem has granted Omar Barghouti a visa to visit the United States. A founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), and outspoken critic of Israeli policy, Barghouti was told repeatedly over the course of 4 months that his visa was subject to ongoing “administrative process,” without further explanation. Barghouti was previously granted U.S. visas without incident and has traveled throughout the country extensively.
As a result of the delays, Barghouti’s tour in support of his new book Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions was placed on hold. In the wake of a successful campaign to pressure the granting of Barghouti’s visa, however, supporters have redoubled their efforts in order to host events as planned. Between April 9-15th, Barghouti will visitNew York University, Columbia University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Brown University, Brandeis Univeristy, Harvard University, Hampshire College, and Washington, DC.
Haymarket Books Editor Anthony Arnove stated, “It is regrettable that Haymarket Books and various free speech advocates and human rights groups had to mount a campaign to allow Omar Barghouti to enter the United States to speak and discuss his work, but it is proof that protest works and that solidarity matters. We are very thankful to all of the supporters whose emails, calls, and organizing efforts ensured that Barghouti could be heard in the U.S. We are thrilled he is coming.”
The campaign to pressure authorities to grant Barghouti’s visa was a multi-pronged one. Organizers in many states lobbied their representatives in Congress to inquire on behalf of Barghouti, and calls and emails from around the world were directed to both the State Department and the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.
Follow the links for full details or visit www.haymarketbooks.org/events
Rsvp and invite friends on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BDSBookTour
Saturday, April 9, New York, NY–12 pm, United National Antiwar Committee demonstration
Saturday, April 9, New York, NY–6:30 pm, NYU
Monday, April 11, New York, NY–7:30 pm, Columbia
Tuesday, April 12, Princeton, NJ–4:30 pm Princeton
Tuesday, April 12, New Brunswick, NJ–8:00 pm, Rutgers
Wednesday, April 13, Waltham, MA–4:30 pm, Brandeis
Wednesday, April 13, Cambridge, MA–7:30 pm, Harvard
Thursday, April 14, Providence, RI–12:00 pm, Brown
Thursday, April 14, Amherst, MA–6:00 pm, Hampshire College
Friday, April 15, Washington, DC–6:00 pm, Busboys and Poets
Additional Praise for Omar Barghouti and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions
Once again Omar Barghouti delivers a conceptually lucid argument for the BDS movement that is difficult to refute. He offers a principled position accompanied by nuanced and thorough analyses, and though one may not agree with all of his claims, one is fully persuaded by the passionate clarity of his appeal. Barghouti reminds us what public responsibility entails, and we are lucky to have his relentless and intelligent analysis and argument. There is no more comprehensive and persuasive case than his for boycott, divestment, and sanctions to end the Israeli occupation and establish the ethical claim of Palestinian rights.
–Judith Butler, Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California at Berkeley
This is a book about the political actions necessary to hinder and finally to stop the Israeli state machine which is operating every day to eliminate the Palestinian people. It is like an engineer’s report, not a sermon. Read it, decide and then act.
Essential reading for all who care about justice and the plight of an oppressed people-–Ken Loach
Interview requests: Sarah Macaraeg, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-315-8476
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions
The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights
Publisher: Haymarket Books
320 pages, $16.00