North America International Solidarity Movement Tour Stops In Chattanooga

To Raise Awareness About Human Rights In Palestine

  • Thursday, March 8, 2018

Following up on the North America Nakba Tour that visited Chattanooga during Human Rights Month in December, the International Solidarity Movement will bring two internationally renowned Palestinian activists to raise awareness about the current state of human rights issues in Palestine. 

The group will visit local colleges and then hold a public talk at The Well on the Southside, a member church of the Adventist Peace Fellowship, at 1800 Rossville Ave., Suite 110, on Monday at 7 p.m. 

The speakers include: 

Rana Nazzal is a Palestinian-Canadian activist, artist, and facilitator. She is immersed in community organizing both at home in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and on Algonquin Anishnaabeg land in Canada. She served intermittently with the International Solidarity Movement between 2011 and 2016, taking various roles, from training international volunteers in military confrontation tactics, to coordinating ISM media. Like many Palestinians, for her activism she has endured beatings, injury from military weapons, arrest, and indictment. 

Since 2014, Ms. Nazzal has run an activist leadership program based in Ottawa that works to empower young adults with the tools and frameworks necessary to fight for effective social change. Between 2016 and 2017, she also developed an arts-based peer support program for refugee youth in Canada that continues today. She recently returned to Palestine and is based in Bethlehem. 

Joe Catron went to Palestine's Gaza Strip in March 2011, on the first international solidarity delegation to cross the Rafah border after the fall of Egypt's Mubarak government, and lived there through October 2014. Over three and a half years in the besieged coastal enclave, he accompanied farmers and fishermen in Israeli-enforced access-restricted areas, joined protests along Israel's separation barrier, supported campaigns in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, and assisted local organizations through editing and training. During the summer of 2014, he and other international volunteers established a constant presence in hospitals and accompanied rescue efforts in conflict areas. His writing and photography from Palestine have appeared in +972 Magazine, BBC, Electronic Intifada, Middle East Eye, the New York Times, Newsweek, and various other media. He is in Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen's new documentary, Killing Gaza, and was profiled by Ramzy Baroud in his latest book, The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story. He lives in New York and is the U.S. coordinator of Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. 

Paul Larudee of International Solidarity Movement-Northern California said, "A human rights advocate multiplies her/his effectiveness by combating Israeli human rights violations on the ground in Palestine. We need advocates everywhere, but being in Palestine is an exponential change. In fact, when you return, you will find yourself far more effective at home than before you left." 

Gandhi Global Center For Peace Co-Founder Missy Crutchfield said, "The work for nonviolent revolution in Israel-Palestine, Egypt, and across the Middle East is the final frontier of civil and human rights. And Palestine specifically has become a metaphor for ending global occupation and oppression. Gandhi spoke to it. Mandela spoke to it. And Gandhi reminded us that fear is the enemy, not each other, and ultimately it will be love that conquers all." 

The North America International Solidarity Movement Tour is administered by the International Solidarity Movement – Northern California. 

Local Chattanooga partners working with the committee to bring the North America International Solidarity Movement Tour to Chattanooga include: Gandhi Global Center For Peace and The Well on the Southside. Bridge Refugee Services joins to help make the connection locally and share about what is being done to help refugees who are relocated to Chattanooga. 

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