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Global Solidarity for Justice: Book Review of Freedom is a Constant Struggle

posted on: Apr 14, 2016

BY: Leila Diab/Contributing Writer 

Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, speaker and an ongoing advocate for the exploited and oppressed people in this world. She makes the connections between the past and the current level of injustices and vanishing freedom from Ferguson, Missouri to occupied Palestine. Freedom Is A Constant Struggle opens the reader’s ability to examine the relevance of issues of war, class status, gender, civil and human rights, and human sufferings. The book works to resolve the human spirit from a global context, while strengthening the very foundation of mass movements.

There are many people in the world who are constantly striving for freedom. And freedom cannot come to fruition without justice. Albeit, whether it is in Ferguson, Missouri, or in the territories of occupied Palestine and for that matter even beyond many of the violent war torn borders of no resolve, a constant struggle for universal rights continues with mass movements of solidarity for justice and freedom emerges. In Angela Davis’ recent book Freedom Is a Constant Struggle, she maintains that people from all four corners of the world “have to constantly make the connections of all struggles against racial violence and develop the foundation for a unified mass movement.”

Davis’ book encompasses an in-depth portrayal of historical legacies of human struggles, sacrifices, women’s struggle for equality, and victories of mass movements in the United States and foreign lands. This portrayal is a continuation of efforts to eradicate the course of racist violence, resolve human and civil rights, and ensure justice for the human struggles for justice.

One might ask, when we are engaged in the struggle against racial violence, and people acknowledge with factual clarity the causes of worldly human suffering, death and the disenfranchisement of the human race, why do world leaders remain silent and ignore crimes against humanity? Davis points out that we can’t forget the connections with Palestine. She maintains “we have to engage in an exercise in intersectionality. Of always foregrounding those connections so that people remember that nothing happens in isolation. That when we see the police repressing protests in Ferguson we also have to think about the Israeli police and military army repressing protests in occupied Palestine.”

Throughout history, the voices of unified and global mass movements have defeated repressive regimes and governments. Grassroots mass movements and their quest for justice and freedom occurred in the U.S. Civil Rights movement, the abolition movement, prison reform movements, and in many global spheres, like South Africa or Chile that overthrew its repressive government under Pinochet. While lecturing in Chile recently, Davis admits that when she was unaware that the Palestinian community in Chile, consisting of 450,000 people, is the largest in the world, and that 60% of the Palestinian community in Chile, one of the wealthiest communities in the world, also supported Pinochet during his regime. Why? Just to keep their wealth and privileges. However, many elements of total freedom and justice still remains suppressed in these and other nations today.

However, the underlining message of Davis takes the reader on a historical journey of a long and winding road of mass movements, racial violence, corporate greed over justice, and praises for combined connections of global strategies, that hopefully, fling open the doors of freedom and justice.

In conclusion, Davis suggests, “we might want to engage in progressive and transformative activism, and this is one principle we should remember. This principle is associated with Dr. Martin Luther King, and should be the slogan of all movements: Justice is indivisible. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”