Today is May 25. On this day, 9 years ago, a small group of committed people, united by their belief in themselves, by their faith in their ability, were able to throw aside the shackles of oppression and occupation of the largest, most powerful military in the region. On this day, 9 years ago, land was liberated without surrender. Arab land was liberated without giving to the oppressor and the occupier what he most wants: recognition of the state of Israel on the stolen lands of (1948) Palestine.
We need to remember this day — and recognize its strength.
And, as we commemorate, let us also remember all our other occupied lands — from the Golan Heights to all of the lands of Palestine.
Liberation is, in its very essence, freedom from injustice, and not only freedom from slavery and occupation.
The slogan of May 25 in Lebanon is “our land is more precious than gold.” Thus, it is only natural that when I read the latest news from Nigeria regarding Shell, that I would also remember May 25. In Nigeria, land is more precious than oil.
Shell is a “corporate giant that has long collaborated with the state to access the Niger Delta’s oil and gas resources, systematically destroying the indigenous ecology through spills, deforestation, flaring and dumped waste, and in the process fueling climate change that threatens our collective future on the planet.
But at a time of worsening state massacres of environmental justice activists in the Delta, a moment of reckoning nears. In New York’s Southern District Court this Wednesday before Judge Kimba Wood, Shell goes on trial for crimes against the Niger Delta people and environment, which could lead to substantive reparations payments.“