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HeadlinesNovember 27, 2023

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Calls Mount to Extend Truce as Dozens of Hamas Captives and Palestinian Prisoners Freed

Nov 27, 2023

Calls are mounting to extend the four-day truce in Gaza, which is now in its final day. Hamas backed the extension Sunday, as have international mediators Egypt, Qatar and the United States. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is open to extending the truce by one day for every 10 hostages released by Hamas. A total of 58 hostages have been released so far, including citizens of Thailand, the Philippines and Russia. A 4-year-old American girl, Abigail Edan, was among the captives released Sunday. One hundred seventeen Palestinian prisoners have been freed from Israeli detention during the truce. Scenes of reunited families and celebrations over the weekend offered a glimpse of hope amid the temporary lull in fighting. In the occupied West Bank, Palestinians celebrated on the streets as their loved ones returned. This is Hanan Takatkah, a mother in Bethlehem whose son was freed on Friday.

Hanan Takatkah: “It was an indescribable feeling and happiness when I heard that there was a deal, thank God. In Palestine, our joy is not complete. We are happy that our children are released, but our joy is not complete. First of all, our families, children and beloved ones in Gaza are full of blood. At the end, we were very happy for our children, but there was a price we paid. There were other children who died.”

Ahead of the prisoners’ release, Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir banned celebrations in East Jerusalem and ordered police to raid the homes of prisoners’ families. Ben-Gvir said, “My instructions are clear: There are to be no expressions of joy.”

Some 15,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel’s assault on Gaza started on October 7, mostly women and children. Researchers say the rate of death is unprecedented in this century. The assault has also caused mass displacement and widespread destruction, including to hospitals and other essential infrastructure. Some displaced Gazans said they were barred by Israeli forces from reentering the neighborhoods and homes they fled. Meanwhile, the Red Crescent said northern Gaza is finally getting an influx of aid thanks to the truce.

Israeli Forces Kill at Least 8 West Bank Palestinians Amid Surge in Violence

Nov 27, 2023

As the fragile truce held through the weekend, Israeli forces continued deadly attacks on the occupied West Bank, killing at least eight Palestinians, including two children. According to local health officials, at least five of those deaths came during another raid on the Jenin refugee camp. This is a resident of Jenin.

Fatina Ghoul: “They enter houses and demolish them and damage them. They just inflict destruction. They did not arrest any youth from here. It is just a matter of destruction.”

Over 200 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October 7.

Vermont Police Arrest Suspect in Shooting of 3 Palestinian Students

Nov 27, 2023

Police in Vermont have arrested a suspect in the shooting of three 20-year-old students of Palestinian descent Saturday. All three survived, though one is said to have suffered “much more serious injuries.” Two of the men were wearing keffiyehs and speaking Arabic at the time of the attack. The young men were identified as Hisham Awartani, a Brown University student; Kinnan Abdalhamid, of Haverford College; and Tahseen Ahmad, a student at Trinity College. The families of the victims and advocacy groups urged authorities to investigate the shooting as a hate crime amid a spike in anti-Arab and anti-Muslim attacks in the U.S. The suspect, Jason J. Eaton, is being arraigned today.

Meanwhile, the Indian American Muslim Council is calling for authorities to investigate a possible hate crime motive in the November 17 stabbing of two Muslim students of Indian origin in Fremont, California. The attacks occurred at a busy shopping and dining area in broad daylight and left cousins Syed Shadan ul Haq and Khalid Bin Masood Yafai with critical injuries. The suspect, Miguel Angel Villareal, has been charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder.

Activists Shut Down Manhattan Bridge; Demonstrators Disrupt Macy’s Parade Over Protest-Filled Weekend

Nov 27, 2023

Here in New York, over 1,000 peaceful protesters held a sit-in protest Sunday at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge, halting traffic to downtown Brooklyn. Protesters, led by Jewish Voice for Peace, unfurled banners reading “Let Gaza Live” and “The Whole World Is Watching” as they sat in the roadway chanting, “Up with liberation! Down with occupation!” Their protest came three days after protesters disrupted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to demand an end to U.S. support for Israel’s occupation and bombardment of Gaza. Protesters wore jumpsuits covered in fake blood and glued themselves to the street, briefly displaying banners reading “Free Palestine” and “Genocide then, Genocide now,” before police moved in to arrest them.

In Seattle, the City Council passed a resolution backing a ceasefire, the largest U.S. city to do so. But Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who proposed the resolution, called it “watered down” after it removed condemnation of the Israeli military, the occupation of Palestine and U.S. funding for Israel.

Elsewhere, tens of thousands of Cubans, led by President Miguel Díaz-Canel, marched Thursday to the U.S. Embassy in Havana, accusing the United States of supporting Israeli’s “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza.

BBC Censors BAFTA Acceptance Speeches Expressing Solidarity with Palestine

Nov 27, 2023

In Glasgow, Scotland, the BBC has been accused of censorship after the network edited calls for a Gaza ceasefire out of its coverage of an awards ceremony. This is BAFTA-winning director Eilidh Munro, who won for her short film “A Long Winter” but had her acceptance speech cut from BBC’s edited version of the ceremony posted online.

Eilidh Munro: “We have got a responsibility to elevate the world’s most important stories, and we want to take this opportunity tonight to say that we stand in solidarity with everyone in Palestine.”

Meanwhile, Israel has summoned the ambassadors for Belgium and Spain after their countries’ leaders spoke at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza Friday condemning Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians. This is Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez: “It is absolutely necessary to establish a lasting humanitarian ceasefire to reverse the catastrophic situation that the people of the strip are going through.”

NYU Cancer Doctor Sues After Firing for Racist Posts

Nov 27, 2023

In New York, the former director of NYU Langone hospital’s cancer center has filed a lawsuit after he was fired for sharing racist cartoons of Arab people on social media, as well as several messages against Palestinians, including one questioning the scale of the death toll in Gaza due to Israel’s nonstop bombardment. Dr. Benjamin Neel is accusing NYU Langone Health of violating city and state human rights laws. Neel’s firing came after NYU Langone first removed a Palestinian medical resident from one of its hospitals. Dr. Zaki Masoud posted messages on social media in solidarity with Palestine. Neel responded, saying he had been “offered up as a sacrificial lamb” so NYU Langone could claim impartiality.

Far-Right Xenophobe Geert Wilders on Path to Become Dutch PM After Parliamentary Election

Nov 27, 2023

In the Netherlands, far-right, Islamophobic populist Geert Wilders has vowed to become the next Dutch prime minister after his Freedom Party won the most votes in last week’s parliamentary election. But Wilders will first have to make agreements with at least two other parties to form a government. Other Dutch politicians have expressed hesitance or outright refused to back Wilders, who has advocated banning the Qur’an, prohibiting Islamic schools and mosques, and denying entry to asylum seekers. In 2017, he referred to Moroccan immigrants as “scum” during a campaign event. He has also made anti-trans remarks. Wilders’s victory has rocked the mostly liberal nation, and European neighbors who are also facing threats of a shift to the far right. Protesters took to the streets of Utrecht on Thursday evening.

Protester 1: “This is needed, because many kids, adults, a lot of people woke up in this country, and we are worried if they are still welcome here.”

Protester 2: “This is not the country I fell in love with, which I love so much. The country I love is a country in which we hold each other tight and live together.”

In another protest, four Greenpeace activists jumped into the parliament pond in The Hague to protest Geert Wilders, who has threatened to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and slash spending on the climate crisis.

Russia Launches Largest Drone Attack in Ukraine Since Start of Invasion

Nov 27, 2023

Ukraine’s military says it shot down 71 of 75 drones launched by Russia Saturday in what officials are calling the largest such attack since Russia’s invasion early last year. At least two people were injured in Kyiv, where falling debris sparked fires at residential buildings and a kindergarten. The Russian drone attacks came just days after U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv, where he announced another $100 million in military aid for Ukraine. The United Nations reports over 10,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded.

Far-Right Groups Riot in Dublin After Knife Attack Stokes Anti-Immigrant Hatred

Nov 27, 2023

In Dublin, Ireland, hundreds of far-right protesters fought street battles with police on Thursday in riots that erupted after a knife attack at a school that left five people injured, including three children. Police say the rioters were driven by misinformation about the knife attack, which was blamed on an immigrant. The BBC reports the attacker was in fact an Irish citizen who has lived in Ireland for 20 years. Anti-immigration protests erupted in Ireland this year after the government received more than 140,000 immigrants, its highest total in 15 years.

Tens of Thousands March to Demand the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Nov 27, 2023

Thousands of people took to the streets in cities around the world Saturday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. An estimated 50,000 people turned out in Rome as protesters demanded justice for a 22-year-old student who was recently killed by her ex-boyfriend in a case that has rocked Italy. In Guatemala, demonstrators wrote out the number 438 with candles, in a tribute to the women who have been killed so far this year. Meanwhile, in Argentina, women condemned the agenda of the newly elected president, far-right libertarian Javier Milei.

Malena Lenta: “I think everything the new government of Javier Milei stands for infringes on the rights we have won: the right to abortion, the fight against patriarchal violence and even the fight for gender equality in the workplace. I am convinced that we have hard times ahead.”

Over 100 Arrested as Australian Climate Activists Blockade World’s Largest Coal Port

Nov 27, 2023

In Australia, police arrested over 100 climate activists who took part in a two-day blockade of the world’s largest coal port. Thousands of activists participated in the blockade, occupying the Port of Newcastle by swimming or kayaking in the port’s shipping lane. Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of coal. Ninety-seven-year-old Reverend Alan Stuart was one of the detained activists. Organizers say he is the oldest person ever arrested and charged in Australia. Reverend Stuart spoke to reporters after the action.

Rev. Alan Stuart: “Whatever happens to me doesn’t matter, but what happens to the climate, because the climate is going to affect future generations — my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on.”

Portland Teachers End Strike After Winning Higher Wages and Smaller Class Sizes

Nov 27, 2023

In Oregon, thousands of teachers are expected to return to work today after reaching a historic tentative agreement with the Portland Public Schools district. The deal, reached Sunday, came more than three weeks after teachers at 81 Portland-area schools walked out on strike. The Portland Association of Teachers union said the tentative deal had secured key wins, including demands for higher wages, class size limits and more time to plan lessons.

Thousands of Amazon Workers Strike on Black Friday

Nov 27, 2023

Thousands of Amazon workers across Europe went on strike on Black Friday — one of the busiest shopping days of the year — protesting the retail giant’s working conditions and demanding fair wages. The global campaign Make Amazon Pay said strikes and protests would take place from Friday through today in at least 30 countries. In Coventry, England, over 1,000 Amazon warehouse workers walked off the job Friday, blocking the facility’s entrance and preventing trucks from leaving. This is a trade union leader.

Stuart Richards: “In the protest here, we’ve got people joining us from Germany, from the U.S., from Italy. There are also Spanish workers that are out on strike today. This is now a global wake-up call for Amazon. They can’t keep ignoring the concerns of these workers and the workers in warehouses right across the world. It’s clear that this is a huge, momentous thing that Amazon just need to listen to.”

Young Lords Co-Founder Turned “Best Street Reporter on TV” Pablo Yoruba Guzmán Dies

Nov 27, 2023

Pablo Yoruba Guzmán, the visionary former minister of information of the Young Lords Party and longtime print and television reporter, has died of a heart attack. In 1969, Guzmán co-founded the New York chapter of the predominantly Puerto Rican radical group the Young Lords, which fought against police brutality, racism, U.S. imperialism and militarism. The Young Lords also provided healthcare, child care and breakfast to impoverished people — most of them Black and Latino. Pablo Guzmán went on to write for publications including The Village Voice and Rolling Stone and spent nearly two decades at the New York station WCBS. His longtime friend, Democracy Now! co-host Juan González called Guzmán “the best street reporter on TV.”

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