Announcing 7th Annual Open Shuhada St Campaign (February 19-28, 2016)
We are very excited to announce the upcoming
7th Annual Open Shuhada St. Campaign from 19-28 February 2016.
Open Shuhada Street Campaign is a Palestinian-led local and international nonviolent campaign to protest against the measures of closure and separation in Hebron, started in 2010 by Youth Against Settlements (YAS). Activists and organizations in Palestine and from around the world join together around February 25 in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron, demanding:
- The re-opening Shuhada Street to all people
- The implementation of international law and human rights in Hebron
- An end to the separation regime in Hebron
- In end of the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land
To this end, in combination with legal action to re-open Shuhada Street, Open Shuhada Street Campaign mobilizes locally and internationally for nonviolent direct actions.
Use the hastag #OpenShuhadaSt
RSVP and post your action to the Facebook event page
Change the image below for your Facebook profile picture
Organize an Open Shuhada Street action for your campus or town
- Set up a mock Israeli checkpoint to simulate the discrimination and abuse Palestinians in endure under the apartheid system in Hebron (see see mock checkpoint materials below)
- Collect signatures to give to your representative, asking them to demand the reopening of Shuhada Street to all people (see petition below in materials)
Materials for your action:
Open Shuhada Street 24 x 18 inch signs and 30 x 20 inch images of Shuhada Street and Checkpoint (for larger images for more high quality printing, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will email them to you) . To print, open, save (upper right corner), and then send to a print shop. You can have the 24 x 18 inch signs printed directly onto foam poster board or onto paper which that you then attach to poster board or cardboard. Have the 30 x 20 inch images printed at print shop and attach them to foamboard or posterboard.
Materials and script for mock checkpoint Have 20 x 30 inch mock checkpoint sign printed at print shop and then mount onto 20 x 30 inch foamboard or posterboard.
Open Shuhada Street Handout and petition to elected officials These are word documents – click to download and then open. Put your group’s name and contact information at the bottom of the handout’s first page. Put your elected officials names at the top of the petition. The petition is designed for the US. To use in other countries, adapt it accordingly.
Readings for your actions (open and print from upper right corner)
Use the hashtag #OpenShuhadaSt
Images of mock checkpoint actions that have taken place on campuses in past years
Background – From Thriving Palestinian City to Occupied Ghost Town
Hebron is one of the four holiest cities in both Judaism and Islam. It is the second largest city in the West Bank after East Jerusalem and used to be the commercial center for the southern West Bank. Since shortly after the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Hebron has seen the building of Israeli settlements. Settlement building in Hebron, and throughout the West Bank continues to expand today, despite being recognized as illegal under international law. In addition to the Hebron adjacent large settlements of Kiryat Arba and Givat Ha’avot, there are about 600 Israeli settlers living in the midst of the Hebron’s old city. More than 1500 Israeli combat soldiers are stationed in and around Hebron, alongside the settlers to guard their security. The Israeli soldiers do not protect the Palestinian residents of Hebron, who are regularly attacked by Israeli settlers.
February 25, 2015 marks 21 years since the Baruch Goldstein massacre, when Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, murdered 29 Palestinians participating Ramadan Friday prayers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. In response to the massacre, the Israeli army introduced an apartheid system of separation in Hebron, including the closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians, effectively creating a ghost town. Freedom of movement in Hebron’s old city is severely restricted for Palestinians. They are forced undertake long detours, are barricaded inside their homes on Shuhada Street, and can only get in and out of their homes through the backdoors or rooftops.
Shuhada street is vital to Palestinian communal and commercial life. It was the center of the old city’s commercial district before Israeli settlement projects and military rule forced its closure. To this day, the street remain almost entirely closed to Palestinians, while Israeli settlers move freely. The closure of Shuhada Street is a symbol of Israel’s wider apartheid policy of separation.
Youth Against Settlements (YAS) is a Hebron based nonviolent direct action group. Formed in 2008, it maintains a youth education and meeting center located in a building that was initially occupied first by the Israeli military and later by settlers. It was reclaimed for Palestinian use through a nonviolent direct action and legal campaign. The center is used to empower and educate Palestinians, especially youth, to stand firm and use nonviolent action, media, and advocacy work to resist Israel’s system of occupation, restriction, and separation in Hebron. YAS encourages the population of Hebron, especially in old city area, to remain in the area, despite the hardships and violence they face from settlers and military occupation.
YAS leads an annual Open Shuhada Street campaign, which is implemented both in Palestine and internationally. YAS is also engaged in international advocacy through the UN and other international institutions, including the UN Human Rights Council. YAS’s coordinator, Issa Amro, has been recognized by the European Union as a Human Rights Defender.
SpeAction Tours (for European Countries)
In support of international Open Shuhada Street Campaigns, Youth Against Settlements sends activists and volunteers to European countries for SpeAction Tours. The aim of the SpeAction Tours is to mobilize international solidarity for the rights of the Palestinian people and support for the Open Shuhada Street Campaign and its demands.
From 14 to 29 February 2016, YAS will send one of its activists and one resident of Shuhada Street to Germany, Italy, Denmark to join actions and events in support of Open Shuhada Street Campaign, as well as meetings at political and diplomatic levels.
For help organizing and being part of the OPEN SHUHADA ST CAMPAIGN 2016 in your city or your University campus, please email us at email@example.com or “Contact Us” form. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.