As we approach the season in which shoppers will sort through the mass of electronic products available, the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee picked up the call to “Hang Up on Motorola.” The more than 40 activists who brought song and dance to a Best Buy and AT&T store were inspired by the recent Philly BDS flash dance which targeted stores carrying Sabra and Tribe hummus.
The St. Louis activists aimed their demonstration at Motorola, a company that has close ties with the Israeli military. Motorola Israel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola, has a number of exclusive contracts with the Israeli military and has designed products specifically for the Israeli military, including bomb fuses, an communications system, electronic components for drones, and electronic surveillance used along the separation barrier.
The success of these recent flash dances and the increasing visibility of the BDS movement can be attributed in large part to the limitless dissemination of videos through social media and independent media channels. The boycott, divestment, and sanction movement is slowly but surely gaining traction. Appropriating Lady Gaga tunes with creative lyrics and inspired dance is just the latest way of challenging Israeli apartheid.
The St. Louis activists offered a pretty good rallying call for the campaign against Motorola, singing:
Goodbye Motorola, you know we have choices.
And with this boycott we will exercise our voices.
We won’t pay for human right violations.
Come on let’s stand up to illegal occupations.
Recent criticisms calling the founder of nonviolent theory a Cold Warrior are way off the mark. To rightly evaluate him, we need to understand the role he chose for himself.
A six-week strike by teachers has bolstered a movement against proposed austerity measures targeting Lebanon’s dangerously underfunded education system.
Drama helps movements draw attention to their issues, but it won’t come without creativity and direct action tactics that reach beyond the choir.