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Rev. Blackmon was one of the keynote speakers at the conference on Radicalized States & Popular Resistance: From Chicago to Jerusalem .
She speaks about her experience in Ferguson, Missouri and her trip to Palestine as part of an interfaith delegation to bare witness; she comments on the direct links between racist oppression by the Israeli occupiers of Palestine and the militarized, anti-terrorist, sniper equipped troops, trained in Israeli techniques, who were dispatched to Ferguson to put down the youth led protest following the murder of Michael Brown. Palestinian youth who are routinely tear gassed on their way to school, shot at, and killed with impunity, by Israeli soldiers, tweeted to the Ferguson protesters their solidarity and information on how to protect oneself from the effects of tear gas.
She recounts her experience of Israeli security when arriving at the airport and at the check points and an exchange with the Assistant Deputy to the U.S. Consulate who met with her delegation for a briefing ahead of their return.
She speaks of her meeting with a Palestinian mother, whose child, shot by an Israeli sniper, struggles to understand his murder; Israeli officials are above explanation or apology as to why the youth was shot in the back while playing in a playground; that he was perceived as a threat to the illegal settlement in his village surfices.
Rev. Blackmon is Director of Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ.
Garrett Theological Seminary
Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
On October 20, 2014 Laquan McDonald was murdered in the streets of Chicago by a Chicago police officer. On that same day several news outlets reported the murder of Baha Al Deen Samir Bader, a 12 year boy who was shot in the chest by Israel Defense Forces in Beit Liqya in the West Bank. Each of these boys died because the police forces of their nations valued their lives little because their bodies had been racialized and radicalized. Since then, in 2015 303 African Americans were killed by American police officers and 178 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces. Day by day the number of the dead increases. This conference has been planned in response to these deaths as well as the increased and continued use of militarized force against civilian Black populations in the US and against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. The US military has provided the equipment and the Israeli Defense Forces have provided the training in the use of the equipment against civilian populations in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, and the US. In the face of the violence of such racialized states what are some strategies of "popular resistance?" What does justice require of us? (event program)