15 lessons from 15 years of BDS

A grassroots movement is powerful because it is grassroots

The movement for Palestinian rights continues to grow across the world. (Alisdare Hickson/Flickr)

July marked the 15th anniversary of the launch of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Much has happened over those years. Here are 15 lessons I’ve learned on the journey to dismantle Israeli apartheid.

Anyone who adheres to the BDS principles can join the movement. This empowers and enables everyone to effect extraordinary changes.

The BDS movement speaks directly to people of conscience who understand that by not acting they are allowing states, companies, artists, institutions, universities and businesses to remain complicit and fuel Israeli apartheid.

Joining and taking action allows each one of us to take responsibility and make sure we are at the very least not contributing to harming the Palestinian people. It allows us to speak out and mobilize others to take action too.

The power of the equality that  brings to politics and the community is instrumental in making every single member give their best and take ownership. No single person in the movement is more important than anyone else. This powers collective leadership.

We don’t work with everyone who works on Palestinian freedom

Unfortunately there are still those who stand up for freedom for the Palestinian people but do not care about the rights and dignity of other discriminated and oppressed groups.

Our deep commitment to anti-racism and intersectionality means we do not liaise with just anyone who agrees on Palestinian rights unless they also respect and support rights and dignity for all. We cannot build and fight for a new world while agreeing to oppress others.

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