World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Joins BDS Movement
Solidarity statement from Tadamon! Montreal, January 2010:
As the world remembers the Israeli bombardment of Gaza at the turn of 2009, the Palestine solidarity movement continues to build the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid. Social justice networks globally are moving in unprecedented ways to back the growing BDS campaign, launched in occupied Palestine by civil society organizations in 2005.
Recently in La Plata, Argentina, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) held their 10th international conference and voted to join the global BDS movement.
In the first move by a major international media organization to back BDS, the decision is critically important due to the deep implication of AMARC member radio stations within grassroots social movements around the world from Africa, to Asia, to the Americas. As community radio has long been a key element to grassroots social justice movements internationally, the BDS resolution passed by AMARC in Argentina points to the increasing interconnections between the Palestine solidarity movement and liberation movements globally– an injustice to one is an injustice to all.
AMARC facilitates a network of more than 4000 community radio stations in over one-hundred countries. Since its formation over twenty-years ago, AMARC has focused on propelling the community radio sector globally in an effort to democratize the media in the face of increasing corporate media concentration. AMARC “advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and cooperation.”
AMARC is truly a global social movement on popular access to communications and has been a revolutionary network in representing front-line community radio stations and bringing a voice to the voiceless. AMARC is truly global in its grassroots reach– from the Philippines to communities throughout Africa. In occupied Palestine, projects like the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), a member station to AMARC, produce regular community radio reporting on the human reality of Palestinian life under Israeli apartheid, rebroadcast by community radio stations globally.
In the context of increasing consolidation of corporate and state direct media globally, which often denies a voice to community-lead movements, community radio has emerged a key point of communication for grassroots movements in recent decades. AMARC has played a key role in facilitating this process at a global level and has hosted global community radio gatherings internationally. Prior to Argentina, AMARC held an international conference in Amman, Jordan. Given its’ geographical location and political proximity to Palestine, this global gathering in Amman provided an opportunity for members to learn first hand about Palestinian exile in Jordan and the ongoing Palestinian struggle for freedom.
A move to support BDS by a global media organization heightens the pressure on the Israeli government to end the siege on Gaza, to end the military occupation over the West Bank and to respect international law in relation to Palestine. Today, a global media network can now provide the networks internationally to continue building the BDS campaign globally via grassroots movements and community radio.
“People of conscience in the international community of journalists and media producers have historically shouldered the moral responsibility to fight injustice, as exemplified in their struggle to abolish apartheid in South Africa through diverse forms of boycott,” outlines the conference resolution, “AMARC supports the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel … as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid.”
Please take action and send your support to AMARC for their principled stand on Palestine.
Below, please find a few ways to get involved:
* read the full text of the AMARC statement & post/share via your networks, statement at: http://bit.ly/gB3Cld
* please email a letter of solidarity/support to: secretariat(at)si.amarc.org and cc info(at)tadamon.ca or by fax to +1-514-849-7129
* Ask your union, community group or radio station, association or collective to follow AMARCs lead and adopt a position/resolution in support of the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid.
* If you are interested in getting involved or supporting the global BDS campaign and live in Montreal please contact Tadamon!
tel: 514 664 1036
Editor's note - you can read more at the AMARC website: http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=shownews&id=1172