Iyad Burnat, Palestinian activist, will be speaking on March 24 at 6 p.m. at Warren Wilson College in the Canon Lounge of Gladfelter Hall. He will also be hosting a discussion at 3 p.m. that day at Firestorm Café and Books in West Asheville. Both events are free and open to the public.
Iyad Burnat is the coordinator for the Popular Committee in Bil’in, Palestine, a small farming village seven miles west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. For eleven years he and the Popular Committee have organized the people in Bil’in to participate in weekly non-violent demonstrations protesting the confiscation of their land, destruction of their olive trees, and Israel’s illegal Separation Wall and settlements. The story of this resistance is the subject of the award-winning film 5 Broken Cameras.
Mr. Burnat was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious James Lawson Award for Achievement in the Practice of Nonviolent Conflict given by Tufts University. He recently released the book Bil’in and the Nonviolent Resistance describing his village’s ongoing struggle for justice and freedom, and what inspires them to continue non-violent resistance.
Mr. Burnat says, “We are a simple people, and more than anything we want to see peace. But before there is peace, there must be justice, and we must have our freedom. We are not against Jews or Israelis, but we are against the Occupation. We are fighting for a better future for our children and for all children.”
The event at Warren Wilson College is co-sponsored by the local Asheville/Black Mountain group Just Peace for Israel/Palestine (JPIP) and Warren Wilson’s Department of Religious Studies and Peace and Justice Studies program.