Solidarity activists to stage mass shutdowns for Palestine

Palestinian and anti-imperialist organizations have called for a second day of action for Palestine as casualties of Israel’s genocide surpass 11,500

November 17, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
March in solidarity with Palestine in San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 12. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo

On November 17, Palestinian and anti-imperialist organizations including the Palestinian Youth Movement, the People’s Forum, the ANSWER Coalition, and National Students for Justice in Palestine have called on the Palestine solidarity movement to stage shut downs of “business as usual” in solidarity with Palestine. Across the globe, students will be walking out or occupying their universities, businesses will shutter, and activists will directly target the centers of power which enable Israeli genocide in Gaza.

Actions will be taking place around the world including in Zambia, Puerto Rico, Canada, South Africa, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Cuba, England, the United States, among others.

“Protests with half a million people erupted on the streets of London, constituents across Canada occupied over 17 MP offices from coast to coast, and Belgian dock workers’ unions have refused to transport weapons by plane or sea that are destined for Israel,” write the conveners of “Shut It Down for Palestine”.

“We must keep building momentum and increase the pressure with more marches, walk-outs, sit-ins, and other forms of direct action directed at the political offices, businesses, and workplaces that fund, invest, and collaborate with Israeli genocide and occupation.”

In Italy, activists will be keeping with a long tradition of shutting down ports shipping weapons to imperialist wars abroad by blocking a ship from the Israeli shipping company ZIM at the Port of Salerno. In New York City, hundreds of local businesses, largely Arab-owned, will close their doors for the day in solidarity with Palestine. In the Philippines, students are staging a walkout in Quezon City.

This action comes as the Palestine solidarity movement only continues to grow around the world. Belgian trade unions and civil society groups, on November 16, called for an arms embargo on Israel. 15 Student organizations across the globe, including the Progressive Left Student Faction in Morocco, the Student Union of the Catalan Countries, the Student Unity Bloc in Palestine, signed onto a statement against the aggression on the Gaza Strip and in Palestine.

“We as progressive and democratic students’ movements and organizations, we raise our voices loudly against the killing and genocide of the Palestinian people in front of the world’s screens, affirming our total alignment for independence, national liberation, and the right of peoples to self-determination,” read the statement, released on November 13. “We are committed to opposing colonization, racial segregation, and genocide.”