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Israeli Apartheid Week comes to Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Israeli Apartheid Week comes to Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Auckland, 24th March 2014 - This week, students at university campuses in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington will host a series of events as part of a global initiative, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW). Events in New Zealand will include film screenings, live music, poetry and panel discussions.

IAW is an annual series of events held in cities internationally. This year, over 200 universities worldwide are hosting events as part of IAW. The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement.

“South Africa has been one of the strongest participants in Israeli apartheid week this year. That says something about the parallels between the apartheid regime there, which was abolished in 1994, and what is happening to Palestinians today living under Israeli occupation and siege,” says Auckland spokesperson Hone Fowler.

“Over fifty Israeli laws explicitly discriminate against Palestinians. We want to highlight this, but also pressure Israel to end its discrimination through boycotts, just like New Zealanders did during the Springbok Tour,” adds Fowler.

Marama Davidson, who will be speaking on a panel alongside veteran anti-apartheid activist, John Minto, on Thursday evening at Auckland University, sees the role of indigenous solidarity as very important. “As a colonised people our experiences have much that resonates with the stories of other nations and there can only be strength in learning where our histories align” says Davidson.

IAW in Auckland will round off with a live music and spoken word poetry event, ‘Artists Against Apartheid’ at Grey Lynn Community Centre on Friday the 28th of March. Performers include Che Fu’s father, reggae artist Tigalua Ness, and Palestinian rapper Imagine This.

“Art has always served on the frontlines of social change” argues winner of the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Slam 2013, Mohamed Hassan, who will also be performing as part of the Friday night event. “In its most primitive state, [art] serves to tell the stories that need to be heard. When we speak about Palestine, we are fighting to preserve the stories and identity of a world that is consciously being erased from history.”

Full details of the nationwide events can be found at apartheidweek.org/events


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