Occupy Oakland chapter votes to support BDS


(JTA) — The Oakland, Calif., chapter of the Occupy movement overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

According to Twitter accounts by pro-Palestinian activists pushing the proposal, the statement won nearly unanimous backing in a vote Wednesday following a brief discussion. A lengthy statement on the Occupy Oakland website attacked U.S. aid to Israel and suggested that Israel had "prodded" the United States into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Oakland branch of the Occupy movement, which focuses on what it sees as economic discrepancies in the United States, has become increasingly visible for its refusal to repudiate violent action and clashes with the police. Last month, members of the movement broke into the Oakland City Hall and set fire to public property, including an American flag. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the branch’s actions have caused a schism within the movement.

It is unclear whether the vote will have any further ramifications. On Nov. 11, the original Occupy Wall Street General Assembly in New York City issued a "statement of autonomy" saying that any declaration not issued by the General Assembly “should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street and warned that “Those seeking to capitalize on this movement or undermine it by appropriating its message or symbols are not a part of Occupy Wall Street.”

The statement also welcomed those who seek redress of their grievances through nonviolence and want to participate in debate.


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