This Monday, January 30, an event was held at the Urban League of Madison discussing the connected persecution of Palestinians in the Middle East and Blacks in America. The presentation began with an information session about the United States' imperialistic actions on the borders of the world. On the US-Mexico border, for instance, the boundary divides indigenous desert tribes, and it is common for American guards to rape immigrants and place children as young as five in detention centers for months to separate them from their mothers.

The presenters outlined an equally desperate situation in Palestine. A 16 year old activist in Palestine named Ahed Tamimi was supposed to speak at the event but was denied her visa due to "administrative review" during the Obama Administration. Tamimi's town is under threat of being changed from Zone B (under half Israeli control and half Palestinian Authority control) to Zone C (under 100% Israeli control). The Israeli government can declare any area Zone C in a heartbeat, instantaneously making people like Tamimi "squatters" set to be evicted by illegal Israeli settlements (funded with billions of American dollars). Palestinians have no right to a translator or due process, an unfair and unjust system that perpetuates apartheid.

But Tamimi is fighting back, using an advocacy movement to protect her homeland.

Further along in the presentation, the occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank in Gaza and the occupation of Black communities in America were tied together and connected to the military-industrial complex. Every year, for example, the Urban Shield convention meets near Oakland, California, where local police departments (such as the LAPD and the NYPD) meet with international militaries (such as those of Israel, the Philippines, and Bahrain) to train, militarize, and exchange military tactics. One of these tactics was a form of tear gas that was tested by the Israeli military on Palestinians before being brought to police departments in the United States. The military-industrial complex also ties in with economics, as Hewlett Packard holds info for ICE, inmates in California, and Palestinian civilians.

Today, to stop the persecution and colonialism of both Blacks and Palestinians, we must unite together against mass incarceration, American funding to Israel, the military-industrial complex, and xenophobic actions like Trumps Muslim ban. We stand for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement and Community Control over the Police, among other community-based solutions, to solve these devastating problems.