Speakers came to Madison Monday to speak up about issues facing underrepresented youth from U.S. to the middle east.
The 19-city speaker tour, “No Child Left Behind Bars — Living the Resistance from U.S. to Palestine,” featured an assembly of local and international female activists at their stop at the Urban League of Greater Madison
Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian youth activist, spoke through video chat, since her visa process limited her attendance. In the video, she said children in Palestine face danger due to their activism.
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Police have arrested Tamimi and her brother multiple times, despite the fact that they are children under law. Nadya Tannous, a writer and organizer in the San Francisco bay area, said the children had little to no rights to defense.
“Ahed wanted to come to the United Stated to speak directly to [marginalized groups] in this country … because despite living under different systems the oppressions experienced is the same,” Tannous said.
Amanda Weatherspoon, a Unitarian Universalist minister and black liberation activist, said many issues facing Palestine include militarization of police and excessive use of force on children.
Weatherspoon said these problems are due to institutionalized oppression, which build systems like the school-to-prison pipeline.
Alix Shabazz, local activist and member of Freedom Inc., conveyed specific instances in which the system had shown its bias against people of color. She said there is a need for local action during the new presidency to make sure the power of decision still lies with the people.
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Ahmed Sultan, an attendee, said he’s concerned about media’s surface-level coverage of current events and the general public’s lack of knowledge on issues domestically and abroad.
“People don’t talk about structural racism, if only more people heard about this, and were able to understand what that term means, we would be able to fix social issues faster,” Sultan said.