A Summary of the Move Over AIPAC 2011 Conference

Thank you for joining us at the Move Over AIPAC gathering last week!  As a coalition of over 100 organizations, we came together to hear an abundance of amazing speakers and engage in vibrant, creative actions.  With your participation and support, our voice for peace and justice rang out against the backdrop of unconditional support for Israel.

What a week it was!  On Friday we kicked off our actions with a demonstration outside the White House, and participated in the Hava Nagila parody flashmob, which has been seen by more than 50,000 people so far! See it here.

On Saturday we had the privilege to hear keynote talks from The Israel Lobby authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, renowned authors, and a stellar panel of analysts discussing the way forward. The afternoon featured great workshops.  Video coverage of Prof. Walt’s talk is now up on our website here.

On Sunday we surrounded the AIPAC meeting at the convention center with chants, music and amazing visuals like the apartheid wall that turned into a Palestinian village scene and a human-powered flotilla to Gaza.  See a slideshow of photo highlights here.

Both weekend nights we held inspiring evening programs at Busboys and Poets to honor peacemakers and hear poetry and music for Palestine.

On Monday the protests continued outside the Justice Department demanding AIPAC be registered as a foreign agent, followed by a march to our workshop about military aid to Israel and lobbying training.  That night during the AIPAC gala, a group of five brave activists stood up to disrupt Netanyahu’s speech with messages about what is really “indefensible” – occupying land, starving Gaza, silencing dissenters, bulldozing homes… See videos of their disruption and subsequent assault by AIPAC members here.  Meanwhile activists handed out a spoof Gala Banquet Program Update during the rally outside (see it here!).

On Tuesday Move Over AIPAC participants lobbied members of Congress, while Rae interrupted Netanyahu’s Congressional address by unfurling a banner that said “Occupying Land Is Indefensible” and shouting, “No more occupation; Stop Israel war crimes; Equal rights for Palestinians; Occupation is indefensible.”  Read her account of the action here and read news coverage here.  We appreciate everyone’s overwhelming support. Rae is back home in the SF Bay Area now and is healing and sore.  She feels gratitude for the opportunity to be a loud voice for human rights.

All together, it was quite a week and we couldn’t have done it without your help and participation!

Please check out the great press coverage of our events here, our photos here and please send us your videos and photos to add (email them to occupyaipac@gmail.com or add them to the flickr group “moveoveraipac”).

Amidst all this, Congress seems to be more entrenched than ever in enabling Israeli war crimes. While we have to keep the pressure on our elected officials, we can also engage in creative nonviolent resistance by joining boycott and divestment campaigns, supporting Palestinian and Israel activists, sending letters to Gaza with the US Boat, and more.