This week, the United States recognized Juneteenth, the anniversary of an announcement made in Galveston, Texas in 1865 that all enslaved peoples were free according to the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior, marking the abolishment of slavery in the United States.

The national holiday is new though, this is only the third year of official federal recognition, a move taken by President Joe Biden who declared 19 June the Juneteenth National Independence Day in 2021, after a year of massive racial justice protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Slavery was abolished in 1865 in its original form, but modern-day slavery and oppression against Black folk continues in many forms, from the big monster of the prison-industrial complex—where surveillance, policing and incarceration of Black people serve the economic interests of government and industry—all the way to the gatekeeping of resources like housing, education, and healthcare. 

Oppression is pervasive within a system, it permeates every aspect of life. And oppression is universal, a system of oppression that goes uncontested will replicate itself in other contexts, linking tactics and methods worldwide. 

US-made bombs are falling in Gaza. Israeli tear gas, skunk water, AI guns, and other prototype weapons are being tested on Palestinians in order to export to US police departments.  The connections of colonial violence are getting clearer and clearer, but the threads of solidarity are getting stronger and stronger.

This is why there is a mural of George Floyd on the Israel apartheid wall in Bethlehem, Palestine. The Palestinian artist chose to highlight Floyd who sparked the 2020 protests against police brutality because “I want the people in America who see this mural to know that we in Palestine are standing with them [in their struggle for justice], because we know what it is like to be strangled every day.”

Linking together global struggles for justice is powerful. If you want to learn more about what ties the struggles of Palestine with Black liberation, as well as feminism and abolition, come join us next month for our summer reading circle, where we will discuss together Angela Davis’ book, “Freedom is a Constant Struggle.” Learn more and register here.

I hope to see you soon!

Picture of Hannah Redekop

Hannah Redekop

CPT Communications Associate

Send Hannah a note: peacemakers@cpt.org

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