“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”
– Paulo Freire
The Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project aims to make visible the connections between the struggle for self-determination in Palestine, and the struggle for self-determination in our communities. The recent shooting of Bryson and Andre Chaplin lay bare the role of the Olympia Police Department as an institution with the power to use excessive and lethal force against Black lives. Further, the previous experiences of Officer Ryan Donald as an Army police officer and as a U.S. Border Patrol agent on the U.S./Mexican border ask us to consider the institutionalized connections among U.S. imperialism, Israeli/U.S. settler-colonialism and increased militarism in our streets. We are forced to recognize the military industrial complex works to train and supply global warfare, which is a war abroad and at home.
Policing practices are founded in blocking the self-determination of communities of color and maintaining the structures of white supremacy and a violent occupation as the status quo. The Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project is committed to supporting and creating space for the ongoing process of movement building within our community to actively confront racism and hold institutions that serve white supremacy accountable. There is a clear need for community oversight of these institutions and more diligent police accountability.
As solidarity with Palestine demands recognition that Palestinian lives matter, the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project is determined to recognize that Black Lives Matter here in Olympia, and everywhere.