Palestine solidarity organizers to convene in Detroit

Prominent figures and organizations in the Palestine solidarity movement will convene in Detroit to strengthen relationships and chart out next steps

May 23, 2024 by Natalia Marques
Protesters in Brooklyn, NY on Nakba Day. Photo: Sofia Perez

From May 24 to May 26, hundreds of Palestine solidarity organizers and supporters will convene in Detroit, Michigan for the People’s Conference for Palestine. “This moment calls on us to strengthen our relationships, our strategies, our tactics, and our unity for the struggle ahead,” write conference organizers. “We must build a shared assessment of the moment, and chart out the next phase of our struggle.” 

Notable speakers include world-renowned British-Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu-Sittah, who has operated in numerous conflict zones including post-October 7 Gaza, Palestinian scholar and activist Rabab Abdulhadi, as well as physician Mustafa Barghouti, co-founder of the Palestinian National Initiative, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), and president of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. 

The conference has been convened by Palestinian and anti-imperialist organizations from across North America, including the Palestinian Youth Movement, National Students for Justice in Palestine, the US Palestinian Community Network, the People’s Forum, Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the ANSWER Coalition, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), and many others. Almost 300 organizations have endorsed the conference, including Dissenters, Artists Against Apartheid, Autonomous Tenants Union Network, Black Alliance for Peace, Black Lives Matter-Canada, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Cooperation Jackson, and American Muslims for Palestine.

The conference will feature several panels on the student movement in North America, such as “The Student Intifada: Zionists off our campus,” and discuss the movement to cast protest votes against incumbent President Biden, with a panel entitled “Uncommitted votes: Fracturing the Two Party System”.

“This iteration of the mass movement for Palestine saw the largest pro-Palestine demonstration in US history on November 4,” Layan Fuleihan, Education Director at the People’s Forum and one of the core organizers of the conference, told Peoples Dispatch. “A growing movement needs a rock solid political foundation. This conference is a much needed exchange of dialogue between leaders of different sectors of the global mass movement for Palestine, to learn from one another and to chart the next phase in the struggle. We hope to come away from this conference with strengthened levels of political organization and development to make this mass movement unmatched in history. It is our duty to take down imperialism here in the belly of the beast, and defeat Zionism once and for all.”

Yara Shoufani, a lead organizer of the Palestinian Youth Movement in Toronto, Canada, told Peoples Dispatch, “Since October 7, we’ve seen so many sectors of society enter the struggle for Palestine for the first time, whether that be labor, healthcare, or education. All of these sectors of society, and more, will be present at the People’s Conference for Palestine to strengthen the relationships between working class people from all walks of life, who have had their consciousness permanently altered by this movement.”