Join the global strike this week for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza

[Image description: Two people, an adult and a child, standing outside holding hands, their backs to the camera. The child is holding a Palestine flag high up in the air. The adult is carrying a cloth bundle over their shoulder. In the background are various people and parked cars. Image by hosnysalah on Pixabay]

Hi everyone. This post will be short. This week, January 21st to 28th, activists, led by Palestinian journalist Bisan Owda, are calling for a global strike to push for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. In Bisan’s words: “Strike from the economic movements, work and your normal life because nothing is normal in this life. Strike as much as you can and protest…for a whole week or until this madness ends! You can disrupt the economies that support genocide and make your voices and our voices heard!”

Israel has massacred over 25,000 Palestinians, including over 10,000 children, and unless we stop it, will continue to do so, with support from the US, UK, France, Germany, and Canada, countries that are themselves guilty of multiple war crimes and genocides.

If like millions of people around the world, you’re angry and heartbroken by what’s happening, please join in the strike. Here are some things you can do this week:

  • Stay home from work, if you have the privilege to do so (not everyone does)
  • Use that time at home to continue calling, emailing, and otherwise contacting your elected officials and demanding they support a permanent ceasefire. Contact your state and federal reps, and also your local leaders (city council members, school boards, etc.)
  • Join a protest in support of Palestine
  • Avoid buying anything or spending money at all if possible
  • Don’t go to the bank or make online bank transactions
  • Don’t post about anything on social media unless it’s related to ceasefire.
  • Lift up Palestinian voices by sharing articles, posts, poems, etc. by Palestinians
  • Sign a petition demanding a ceasefire
  • Talk to your friends and family and ask them to join in the strike
  • If you are going out, wear something that shows support for Palestine.
  • Encourage your nonprofit/foundation to issue a statement in support of a ceasefire

Please take whatever actions you can. As a sector dedicated to equity and justice, we cannot stand by as Israel, funded and armed with weapons through our tax dollars, continues to slaughter Palestinian civilians for the 109th consecutive day, while saying they will continue committing atrocities even if found guilty of genocide by the International Court of Justice.

I know it can be overwhelming, and genocide-deniers will try to complicate and distract and wear you down. And you may doubt yourself because you think you need to be perfect and full understanding before you act. But as wisely put by my colleague Chris Talbot-Heindl:

“If practicing JEDI [Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion] means you need to know everything, then everyone’s damned from the start, and I believe it’s pressure and thought distortions like this that make people afraid or unable to start their JEDI work when we all need to be doing it. It’s also led to people believing they can’t speak up because they don’t know everything (again: impossible) or the right, best words. This leads people I know don’t support the current genocide to feel like they can’t call their representatives or visibly or verbally support things like a ceasefire. When enough people are frozen by not-knowing and believing they have to before they take any action, it allows the ethnic cleansing to continue.”

You don’t need to know everything or have the perfect words to speak up. You can stand firm on a couple of key principles, such as that it is wrong to murder children, no matter who they are. It is wrong to bomb hospitals, mosques, universities, and refugee camps. It is wrong to kill doctors, aid workers, and journalists. No atrocities against civilians are ever justified, no matter who is committing them.

For those who have been speaking up for months or years, thank you. For those who are just starting to speak up, thank you also. It is never too late to join the fight for justice. Let’s keep up the momentum until there’s a permanent ceasefire.