We would like to thank everyone who joined us in Olympia on March 16, 2013 to remember and celebrate Rachel Corrie. The day was filled with moving speeches and personal accounts, music, dance and remembrances. We want to share with you the incredible keynote addresses provided by Ramzy Baroud, Phyllis Bennis, and moderated by Dr. Steve Niva.
March 30, 2013, marks the 37th annual commemoration of Land Day in Palestine when in 1976 Israeli military forces killed six Palestinians and wounded and arrested hundreds more during what began as nonviolent demonstrations. Protests in several Palestinian villages were in opposition to the Israeli government’s announcement of a plan to expropriate several thousand acres of land to build new settlements. Land Day has more recently become an international day of protest through Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). Each year, people around the world join in solidarity actions targeting companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements.
We hope you will help us commemorate Land Day by educating about the Israeli company SodaStream that produces at home beverage carbonation systems. We know you’ve heard about SodaStream, but did you know that the company is located on occupied Palestinian land in an illegal settlement, in violation of international law? Your local SodaStream distributor might not know either! Follow this link for a template of a letter you can send or deliver to stores near you asking them to stop selling SodaStream products in your community!
For those in the Seattle area March 30th, come out and join our friends and partners at Palestine Solidarity Committee-Seattle (PSC) for an afternoon of music, dance, and BDS action beginning at 1 pm at Westlake Park at 4th and Pine. Click here for more details. In other places, create your own gathering to creatively carry the word about SodaStream to local businesses supporting the settlement enterprise and Israeli occupation.
On Saturday, March 16th, Olympia will mark the 10th anniversary of Rachel’s stand in Gaza. It has been an extraordinary and challenging journey for the Rachel Corrie Foundation, for the Corrie family, and for those in our community and beyond who have worked tirelessly for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel, in the world, and here at home.
In this month’s launch of a special year-long Peace Works effort, we will feature multiple special events and a remarkable March 16th day of action, reflection, and celebration. We will focus on how Rachel has touched our community and the world; on all that has been accomplished these past ten years through our local, regional, national, and international peace-building; and on inspiring the work to come.
Please join us at these March events!
Saturday, March 16th – Rachel Corrie – 10 Years
Sylvester Park & The Olympia Ballroom (116 Legion Way SW, downtown Olympia) – expect a dynamic day of social action, speakers, music, dance, food, reflection, remembrance, and community!
- 1 pm – Rally at Sylvester Park: Ten years is enough! Challenge U.S. aid to Israel and the lack of accountability for how those resources are used
- 2:30 – 9pm – Olympia Ballroom – Keynote Speakers: Phyllis Bennis and Ramzy Baroud – 10 Years
- Music and Dance- Batiste Dabke, House of Tarab, David Rovics, and more!
- Community Potluck (5:00-7:00 pm) – an Olympia tradition
- Remembrances – from Cindy and Craig Corrie and others
As you watch the Super Bowl this Sunday, one commercial in particular should catch your attention. SodaStream, the world’s largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of home carbonation systems, is set to have a 30 second commercial during the 4th quarter of the game. SodaStream is a household kitchen gadget that carbonates water into seltzer and sodas, and is produced in Ma’aleh Adumim, the largest illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank. Join all of us in the BDS movement, Jewish Voice for Peace, the US Campaign Against the Israeli Occupation, Code Pink, an amazing coalition of religious leaders, and many others in boycott!
We ask you to join our boycott of SodaStream because it is produced in an illegal Israeli settlement (opposed by U.S. Government policy) and because the products sold support the settlement industry, encouraging Israel to continue the illegal military occupation of Palestinian lands.
Today, illegal settlements, like Ma’aleh Adumim, are protected by walls that take away the right of Palestinians to move freely and deny them access to their jobs and farmland. As a result of this oppression and its economic impact, many Palestinians (including children as young as 12) must work in the settlements in order to support their families.
In response to criticism, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum defended his company:
“We don’t strengthen or support the occupation… What we’re doing is taking a facility in the occupied territory and giving Palestinians a career and economic benefits. I’ve got to laugh when they think we’re on the wrong side of this. We’re part of the solution. We build bridges, not walls.”
On November 28th, we hosted an educational event at Traditions Café in Olympia, Washington. A panel discussion and Q&A talked about what recently happened in Gaza, and what we may expect in the future. Below is the live video from that event: