Occupation-Free Portland (OFP) wholeheartedly and enthusiastically endorses and supports the platform recently adopted by The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). The platform, titled “A Vision for Black Lives,” is the product of year-long study and research by a coalition of more than 50 Black-led organizations across the country. OFP encourages all supporters of our divestment campaign to read and study this document which addresses so many key issues facing African-Americans in the United States, including such issues as community control, economic justice, political power, and reparations. The platform not only cites solutions but also outlines concrete steps that can be taken to achieve its goals. It is a model document for all people struggling for justice and an end to oppression.
The platform demands significant changes in U.S. laws and practices that have resulted in continued economic inequalities, criminalization, dehumanization, mass incarceration, disempowerment, and disenfranchisement of Black people.
OFP particularly calls out the platform’s “invest/divest” section for recommending an end to U.S. military aid to Israel and “any country” that violates human rights. Citing Israel’s “apartheid policies” and its more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians, the document notes the consequences of U.S. aid to Israel: “The results of this policy are twofold: it not only diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs, but it makes US citizens complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government.” In calling for a solution, the platform recommends participation in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign initiated by more than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations in 2005.
“A Vision for Black Lives” has been endorsed by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Dream Defenders, the Palestinian National BDS Committee (BNC), the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the Jews of Color Caucus within JVP, and the Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, among others.
Occupation-Free Portland is proud to join the many other human rights organizations in adding our endorsement of the M4BL platform as an important proclamation and blueprint for “justice, freedom and equality.”