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Palestinian Land Day is March 30, 2012!

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer
February 24th, 2012

Above: Palestinian poster announcing Land Day, 1985.
What better time than next month to develop and showcase your boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns? This year, March will open with Israeli Apartheid Week and end with the year's largest BDS Day of Action: Land Day on March 30th!

Palestinian Land Day, Yom al-Ard, commemorates the 1976 killing by Israeli security forces of six young Palestinians as they protested the Israeli government's seizure of Palestinian land. The day has since become a symbol of Palestinian resistance to land theft, colonization, occupation and apartheid.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is calling on supporters around the world to unite in a March 30th Day of Action. The call to action, which can be read in full here, states:

"The BDS Global Day of Action is an opportunity to showcase the achievements of our diverse and global movement through visible and creative actions. The BNC calls on supporters of Palestinian rights to focus on developing thoroughly researched, broad based and strategic BDS campaigns that are based on the three operational principles of the movement: context-sensitivity, gradualness and sustainability. Developing such a long-term vision is essential for the growth and sustainable success of the movement."

With that in mind, here are some specific ideas for taking action:

1.Use March 30th as a launch pad for new BDS campaign initiatives or organize a visible and creative protest, flash mob or action that promotes an existing long-term campaign to a new audience. Click here to see some great examples of actions and new campaigns launched on Land Day last year. And if you're planning a flash mob, don't forget about our BDS Flash Mob How-To Kit!

Above: Click to download and customize the flyer.

Prepare outreach meetings or events or media initiatives that seek to bring BDS to new audiences. Consider passing a resolution endorsing BDS at your local #Occupy General Assembly! Check out our new US Campaign flyer created for that purpose, connecting the dots between #Occupy, the Arab Spring and Palestine. You can customize the flyer and fill in information specific to your location, which is easily accessible at www.aidtoisrael.org.

3.Call on governments to implement incremental sanctions against Israel, by heeding the call from Palestinian civil society for a military embargo on Israel or by suspending free trade agreements or other agreements.  One way you can do so is by organizing a campaign in your community to pass a city council resolution to end military aid to Israel and redirect the funds to unmet needs at home.

Launch mobilization initiatives for the World Social Forum (WSF) Free Palestine, such as public and media outreach and the formation of national, regional, or sector mobilizing committees. The BDS Global Day of Action on March 30 was first launched at the World Social Forum in 2009. Now, three years later, with the ongoing surge of popular struggles for freedom from injustice and corporate greed around the world, the BNC is calling on organizers to use this day of action to mobilize for the first-ever WSF Free Palestine in late November in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where activists from around the world who support freedom, justice, and equality in Palestine-Israel will converge to share, develop and advance strategies and common visions. The next nine months leading up to the WSF Free Palestine are a tremendous opportunity for discussions of national and local strategies within the context of the global movement and our unique context in United States.

Click here for the full BNC call to action and other ideas. Send information about planned actions ahead of time to the BNC and be sure to keep the US Campaign posted so we can highlight your activities on our blog and in a Day of Action roundup. Send pictures!

On the day of action itself, activities will be highlighted on the BNC website. On Twitter, promote your actions with the Twitter hashtag #bds and follow @bdsmovement to watch the action as it unfolds!

Last year's March 30 Day of Action was the largest to date and, according to the BNC, the United States hosted the most actions of any country in the world! Let's live up to last year's record by redoubling our BDS creative actions, publicity and mobilizing efforts for the 2012 Global BDS Day of Action!