Though I've been a community organizer for several years, Monday night was the first time I was willing to get arrested for an action. Though unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to finish performing our dance and sharing our message before we got 'escorted' out, I felt we accomplished our mission. As I sat in jail, with the 6 additional activists, for 6 hours Monday night, I had a chance to reflect on why I was willing to risk arrest to disrupt AIPAC's annual dinner in Oakland.
I, as well as the hundreds of protesters present last night, wanted to make a statement that AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was not welcome here in the Bay Area. We wanted to send a loud and clear message that though (for now) they may be able to get away with their domination and intimidation in DC, proudly boasting on their website that they are “the most important organization affecting America's relationship with Israel”, we were there to say a loud no, to the lobby for war and occupation. We also wanted the elected officials who went, or sent a delegate in their place, to think twice next time they accept an invitation from those who advocate sending our hard earned and desperately needed tax dollars-here in our communities, to Israel....while they hob nob in their fancy suits and dresses, seemingly oblivious to the policies that they represent.