Spatialities of Protest in Black-Palestinian Solidarity Movements
Keywords:Transnational solidarity, social movements, spatialities of protest, Palestine, Black Lives Matter, cyberspace
Palestinian and Black activists have maintained a history of solidarity and mutual support since the 1960s, yet in recent years, this solidarity has strengthened and expanded. Joint Black and Palestinian activism against state-sanctioned violence was further energized during the 2014 Ferguson protests, when activists expanded their collaborations over social media, in demonstrations, and through jointly organized meetings, conferences, and workshops. While the Palestinian quest for self-determination and Black American struggles for racial equality have been examined extensively, recent intersections between the two movements have received little scholarly attention. This paper investigates the spatiality of Black and Palestinian activists’ engagement in transnational collaborative resistance efforts to counter American and Israeli hegemony, through both physical space and cyberspace. While previous studies have examined the symbiotic potential of physical and cyberspace activism, our case study demonstrates how young people have used their tech-savvy knowledge of the benefits and shortcomings of the Internet to strategically raise their narratives to the fore, and consequently incite global awareness and participation in the Black-Palestinian struggle. By capitalizing on the spatialities of online and offline activism, young people have re-spatialized the movement, democratizing it to foster inclusive transnational collaboration, flatten power hierarchies, and raise new leadership within the movement itself.
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