International solidarity has been a core part of my politics and work as an anti-imperialist since the 1970s. I worked in solidarity with the Vietnamese people, with a focus on Vietnamese women, until Vietnam defeated the U.S. in 1975. In 1977, I visited Cuba for the first time as part of the tenth Venceremos Brigade and I have continued to work in solidarity with Cuba ever since. In April 1980, I represented Prairie Fire Organizing Committee at Zimbabwe’s independence celebration in Harare. I went underground in 1981 as part of my solidarity commitment to the Puerto Rican independence struggle.
I have been committed to Palestinian freedom, decolonization and anti-Zionism since the 1970s. Since 2013, I have been involved in building solidarity between prisoners and prisoner advocacy movements in Palestine and in the United States. In 2016, I was able to visit Palestine as part of the first Prisoner Solidarity delegation convened by Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, a profound experience which deepened my commitment to fight for Palestine’s freedom and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners. Most recently, I have represented CCWP in a project with the Palestinian Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and several other U.S. based organizations. We developed a virtual art exhibition — Art Against Imprisonment – From Palestine to the U.S. — featuring art from incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in Palestine and the U.S. Art is a means for incarcerated people to resist and claim a liberated space. By sharing brilliant, informative and provocative art, the exhibit aims to educate people about the alarming interconnections between the U.S. and Israeli carceral states and the need to dismantle them both.
In 2019, I was able to visit South Africa for the first time when I presented on a panel about building solidarity with Palestinian prisoners at a Teaching Palestine conference in Johannesburg. That experience taught me a lot about the long interwoven history between the South African and Palestinian freedom movements and their anti-apartheid struggles.
“We must arm our spirits. When the spirit is armed, the people are strong,” Fidel Castro exclaimed in a 1971 speech following the election of Salvador Allende as president of Chile. Being actively engaged with the liberatory movements of peoples around the world is key to arming my spirit for the continuing struggle ahead!