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Globalizing Local Resistance from Palestine to Ferguson: Transnational Alliances and Activist Scholarship


This project raises the following questions: How are solidarity networks/transnational alliances activated, and what do they inspire? Are there similarities in modes of domination and subordination that catalyze resistance against state sanctioned violence? What does the specific moment of solidarity between Ferguson (Black communities in the US) and Gaza (Palestinians) in 2014 reveal about the potential of solidarity networks in the 21st century? The aim of this thesis is to contextualize the Palestinian struggle, and it’s similarities with the Black struggle/reality in the US, which requires the analysis of colonial violence, both political and epistemic, with a centrality of racialization and its symbolic images. This project examines the continuities and discontinuities between Palestinian resistance to the current Israeli occupation and the movement against police brutality that took over the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. What the comparative approach offers is the parallel relationship that both communities hold in relation to the state and state-sanctioned violence: the police in the United States, and the Israeli military in Palestine. I have chosen to analyze these two movements because both are working against states that repress political, social, and economic rights, albeit in, at times, different ways. It is through their endeavors that the two movements expose how the USA and Israel, via similar agents and mechanisms, achieve their goals of domination and global hegemony. In addition, I will highlight and deconstruct the initiatives of support and solidarity that occur between the Palestinian and Black communities, and analyze if such relationships act as an inspiration for other movements struggling for collective liberation and decolonization from oppressive states.

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