The Occupation Free DC campaign aims to end DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) participation in US-Israeli "counter-terrorism" police exchanges. Real safety means investing in our community, not in biased police trainings.
We aim to end an exchange of worst practices, already too common in DC:
In Palestine, Israeli police kill Palestinians with virtual impunity to enforce a military occupation. In DC, we oppose trainings that posit military occupation and police violence as a model. We echo the calls for justice for Terrence Sterling, Alonzo Smith, Javon Hall, Ralphael Briscoe, and so many other black people killed by police.
Discriminatory policies--like “jump-outs” in DC and “stop-and-frisk” in Jerusalem--criminalize Black and Palestinian communities and don’t keep anyone safe. In DC, we believe safety for all can be best created through the evidence-based, public health-based solutions of the NEAR Act, including hiring community members trained to interrupt community violence.
Repression of Protests
Political demonstrations in DC should not face a shower of chemical weapons and rubber bullets, like Israel uses against Palestinians. MPD must not purchase or deploy crowd control weapons that are used to violate first amendment rights and injure innocent protesters and children.
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Jewish Voice for Peace – DC Metro is a grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights from the US to Palestine. We are actively engaged in legislative outreach, community education, BDS campaigns, and anti-racist organizing.
From the US to Palestine, we know that the path to safety for all is in building joint struggles for justice and showing up to protect and defend one another. That’s the exchange–between people’s movements rather than policing–that we must grow.
Our campaign is a direct response to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions call from Palestinian civil society, local DC initiatives like the NEAR ACT, and the Movement For Black Lives Policy Platform call to divest from deadly systems and invest in education, health, and safety of Black people. We also see this campaign as complementary to the defense and expansion of the definition of sanctuary, led by groups like Mijente and Enlace.
Locally, we are working with an incredible group of campaign partners, which are represented below. If you’re part of an organization or group, we invite you to endorse the campaign.