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Next Steps for Boycotters = Dance Steps!

February 3rd, 2011

All over the Middle East, people are taking creative action in support of freedom and self-determination, reminding the world that people united can make a difference.

While we celebrate grassroots efforts to end repression in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and throughout the world, we also rally behind the Palestinian-led international movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) that complements the protest movement on the ground in Palestine to end Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Inspired by the people of Egypt, what creative actions can we take to support Palestinian freedom and self-determination through BDS?

Many creative tactics are sure to advance this movement. One that is gaining popularity is the flash mob, a sudden assembly of people in a public place to perform an unusual and brief act, and then quickly disperse.

Are you running a BDS campaign, but unsure how to take the next step? Are you looking to energize your group and draw new people? A flash mob might be just what you're looking for!

Click here to see our new Song-and-Dance Flash Mob Step-by-Step How-To Kit!

Through social networks, we now have the ability to generate and distribute influential media on our own. Flash mobs enable the use of pop culture and social networks to promote a message or campaign in a way that is easily accessible, especially to the young generation. This is a great complement to traditional forms of protest, and anyone can do it.

Above: YouTube video of a Philadelphia "flash dance" to promote B.D.S.

US Campaign member groups CodePink and the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Movement elaborate how to do so in their recent piece: "Year of the Flash Mob." The article links to flash mob videos from around the world in 2010. They include flash mobs promoting our national campaigns to "Hang Up" on Motorola and Boycott Ahava.

A member of (US Campaign member group) "Philly BDS" had this to say:

"Flash mobs are a brilliant tool to bust activists out of their picket lines and into the dance lines. Not only does it grab the world's attention unlike any press release or article, it rejuvenates activists who need a moment of 'success'!"

Said one member of (US Campaign member group) the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee:

"After my friends and family saw the video, they were calling me asking if I would call them next time to take part!"

Some activists are scared off from flash mobs because they think they're unable to sing or dance. Nonsense! In a song-and-dance flash mob, enthusiasm is just as important as a good singing voice or body movement. There are many other roles besides performing, all of which are important.

You can do it too! Click here to see our new Song-and-Dance Flash Mob Step-by-Step How-To Kit!

As with all creative actions, please share it with us afterward so we can highlight it in our Occupation End Notes newsletter!

Save the date and consider bringing your flash mob skills to Washington, DC, for a national protest outside the Annual AIPAC Conference, May 22-24. Email info@codepink.org for details -- on what could be the biggest flash mob of 2011!

As the people of Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen demonstrate that grassroots teamwork can have an impact, let us continue working together creatively and energetically to end corporate support for Israel's illegal military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians.

Here's to more creative BDS actions in 2011!