The racist thug Itamar Ben-Gvir has not yet set foot in his new office as Minister of National Security, but the effects of his rise to power have already been felt throughout Palestine. As I write these words, Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro was arrested by the Israeli Army. He recently published a video showing an IDF soldier attacking and beating an Israeli activist in the city of Al-Khalil (also known as Hebron). The actions of the soldier and the sudden unwarranted arrest of Issa are signs of things to come. From Al-Khalil, Issa runs Youth Against Settlements, one of the most important and effective grassroots organizations in Palestine. His life has been threatened many times by soldiers and by Israeli settlers, and now the pressure on him is worse than ever before.
Right Wing Violence
Santa Cruz, Bolivia - Far-right opposition groups in the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, are violating international law by attacking health workers and hindering the passage of ambulances. The city’s police have registered more than 20 cases of physical attacks against health workers and ambulances, many of them resulting in patients being unable to reach a medical center. Protesters say they want the national census to be brought forward six months, and their preferred tactic is to block roads and demand payment from anyone who wants to pass through. Those who fail to comply are assaulted by young men armed with sticks and baseball bats. The secretary of the Health Workers union at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, Ulises Guzmán, said, “I don’t know what they are waiting for, maybe for someone from our sector to die so that they just give us guarantees?”
Santa Cruz, Bolivia - On November 23, 33 days after the start of a violent indefinite strike in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz department, a key agreement was reached between far-right sectors in the department and the national government on the date of the Population and Housing Census. Luis Fernando Camacho, the far-right opposition leader, governor of Santa Cruz and one of the organizers of the strike, accepted that the census would be held in March 2024 and called on the legislators of Creemos and Citizens Community parties to accept this agreement as well. Nevertheless, the strike, sparked by the census disagreement, persists and the climate of violence and insecurity continues to intensify.
Saturday, November 19, 2022, was according to Jewish tradition Shabat Chayei Sarah – the Shabbos, or Saturday commemorating the death and burial of the biblical matriarch Sarah. In the biblical story, her husband Abraham purchased her burial plot in the ancient city of Al-Khalil. According to Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, the “commemoration” events that Al-Khalil has been subjected to over the last few decades have nothing to do with Jewish tradition, only, “Zionist Embellishments.” Al-Khalil, or Hebron in Hebrew, is the largest city in the West Bank, with close to a quarter of a million residents. The Old City part of Al-Khalil, also known as H-2, is a beautiful place, with narrow alleyways and architecture that bears witness to the centuries of grandeur it enjoys, the fourth-holiest city in Islamic tradition.
In the last 21 days former coup leader and current governor of the Department of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camach, has been allowed “to carry out a coup d’état in the city of Santa Cruz,” in the words of Pedro Damián Dorado, vice president of the association of municipalities of the department by the same name. Constant media misinformation is the glue that holds together Camacho’s base, which can be counted in the nearly 230,000, mostly middle-class people who turned out for his latest political meeting. In late October, Camacho launched the shutdown of the city for the foreseeable future. It is Bolivia’s largest and most prosperous metropolis – and the economic motor of the country. Camacho is a very rich man and to preserve the wealth of the few, he is once again acting as a threat to Bolivian democracy.
During his previous terms in office, Benjamin Netanyahu oversaw some of the most brutal attacks on Gaza, attacks that caused thousands of civilian casualties. He was also indicted on corruption charges, and yet enough Israelis found him suitable to return to the post of Prime Minister, and he was elected with a comfortable majority. In the United States, Netanyahu is respected in spite of his 2002 appearance in the U.S. House of Representatives saying that, “If you take out Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.” The Iraq War cost countless lives and billions of dollars and caused disastrous reverberations in the region.
Santa Cruz, Bolivia - This Sunday, November 13, the leadership of the Single Trade Union Federation of Peasant Workers of Santa Cruz described the burning down of its headquarters in the capital of Santa Cruz, which occurred on Friday, as an act of terrorism. It was denounced at a national and international level, in order for those responsible to be punished. “It was a criminal attack that they launched on our federation, we denounced this act of terrorism at the national and international level,” said Franklin Vargas, the organization’s top leader, in an interview with Bolivian state media. Vargas recalled how the violent events occurred at the headquarters when 60 to 70 people were inside.
We want to denounce to international human rights organizations, to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to United Nations Human Rights, that the campesino and union leaders in the city of Santa Cruz are being threatened, intimidated, persecuted by fascist hordes of the Pro Santa Cruz Civic Committee, by people who want to promote a rupture of the democratic order in the country. And it is in this context that we call on you to visit our country urgently, because we want to point out that the human rights of a population that opposes the indefinite strike, of a population that is crying out for work, are being completely violated. A population that is crying out to generate economic resources for their families.
In the months leading up to June 11th, antifascists in and surrounding Coeur d’Alene recognized the threat that queer folks were facing from both local and faraway fascists. Different collectives outside Coeur d’Alene got together to assess the risks of traveling to north Idaho to support and defend Pride and to establish goals for the day. Antifascist crews worked hard brainstorming and predicting potential outcomes, taking care to prioritize the safety of Pride attendees and vulnerable folks living in north Idaho. Eventually, crews decided the best and safest goals would be to: Create a buffer between the fascists and Pride attendees and mitigate potential harm. Antifascists were ready to defensively put their bodies on the line in case of a violent entrance into the park by fascists in order to slow them down and give Pride attendees more time to leave. Render aid in case of confrontations.