‘From Ferguson to Palestine: Repression, Violence and Resistance’ Topic of Panel Discussion Feb. 17

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– When protests broke out in Ferguson, Mo., over the shooting death of an unarmed teenager by a police officer, and authorities responded with tear gas and other measures, people living in Gaza on the other side of the globe expressed empathy through social media.

As people clashed with police in the St. Louis suburb in August 2014, Palestinians in Gaza, hardened by clashes with Israeli military, and elsewhere tweeted their support for the protestors, and even offered practical advice on how to deal with tear gas.

A panel will use Ferguson and the conflict in Gaza between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers as case studies in a presentation, “From Ferguson to Palestine: Repression, Violence and Resistance,” on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Cal State San Bernardino, presented by the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (CIMES).

The event, to take place at 6 p.m. in the College of Education room CE-105, is free and open to the public. Parking at CSUSB is $5.

By drawing parallels between African Americans in Ferguson, Mo., and Palestinian experiences in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the panel will illustrate the ways in which minorities and indigenous people both undergo and resist repression.

“The summer of 2014 saw worldwide demonstrations against Israeli bombardment of Gaza, which claimed the lives of 2,000 Palestinian civilians. Shortly after, protests in Ferguson showed us how much the police has been militarized through the gear and tactics they used,” said Ece Algan, director of CIMES and associate professor of communication studies at CSUSB. “By bringing under scrutiny two different people’s stories in a comparative manner, this panel aims to show why transnational solidarity with minorities and indigenous peoples around the world is absolutely central to just and democratic societies.”

Topics to be discussed will include, but are not limited to, police brutality, structural racism, the historical context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and women and children’s struggles in these conflicts. Using Gaza and Ferguson as case studies, the panel also aims to critique the dominant narratives about conflict and race relations.

Participating in the panel, to be moderated by Ahlam Muhtaseb, a CSUSB associate professor in communication studies, are:

·      Rabab Abdulhadi, associate professor of ethnic studies and Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative, San Francisco State University. Her scholarship, teaching and public activism focuses on Palestine, Arab and Muslim communities and their diasporas, race and resistance studies, transnational feminisms, and gender and sexuality studies. She is the co-editor of the just released book from Syracuse University Press, “Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging.”

·      Gary Fields, associate professor of communication studies, University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on geographical landscapes as representations and instruments of power, and the practice of “territoriality,” which refers to the power of human agency to influence patterns of development in a place by asserting control over a geographical area.  “At the core of my work is a commitment to theoretically driven, actor-centered accounts of power and processes of transformation,” he wrote on his faculty Web page.

·      Robin D.G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in United States History, University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; black intellectuals; music; visual culture; contemporary urban studies; historiography and historical theory; poverty studies and ethnography; and colonialism/imperialism.

The event is co-sponsored by University Diversity Committee, the CSUSB College of Education’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership, the CSUSB Department of Communication Studies, the Center for International Studies and Programs, the CSUSB Arabic Program, and the CSUSB Department of English.

For further information, please contact Ece Algan, CIMES director and associate professor of communication studies, at ealgan@csusb.edu or (909) 537-7469.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.

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