jacob blumenfeld

recipient:

Boston Home/ PO Box 7602/ Red Oak, IA 515191-2602

sent:

Jacob Blumenfeld’s The Jewish Poor in New Voices, along with recent Beijing: Night light “Free Tibet” Banner

free-tibet-banner

reasoning:

i was lucky to meet Jacob in the summer of 2006, when he and CPV were extremely kind to let me crash on their couch while i interned for Domestic Workers United in the Bronx. it was a transformative summer to say the least – my first experience biking in a city, i learned to screenprint & mosaic, attended countless race and gender inequality workshops, walked around brooklyn, hung out in the subway station @ 2 in the morning, sat in on smart discussions and was just immersed in an activist social justice inspiring world.

recently googled Jacob to see if he had written and published anything new, and was surprised to find all these links describing 5 Americans Arrested for Protesting in Beijing.  their “Free Tibet” banner in English and Chinese in bright blue LED lights quickly caught the attention of Chinese officials, and all were quickly detained.  i was slightly freaked out to read “their whereabouts are unknown”, but more internet searching found the 5 have been deported back to the states. he describes what happened with the Chinese police and the night of anti-Tibet propaganda – “The Chinese officials seemed to assume that a bunch of activists in their 20s — Blumenfeld is 26 — couldn’t be acting on its own initiative. “They asked who was our leader, who organized this, if we got paid to do this, did the government send us. They thought someone must have paid us or that we were just tools of the Dalai Lama or something.”

after reading all this, i am glad he is ok, and not so surprised to see that his activism for freedom and justice continues. “As a Jew whose grandparentsjacob_blumenfeld-300x269 survived the Holocaust, Jacob feels an obligation to support the struggles of all peoples oppressed for their racial, ethnic or national identities, from Palestine to Chiapas to Tibet. The movement for a Free Tibet is part of a larger struggle for freedom from occupation, and hence Jacob considers it part of his struggle as well.” without lavishing too praise, he is one of the most conceptually brilliant, and incredibly kind people i’ve met. good work can be done from behind a computer and a desk, but what keeps me going and inspired are the stories of front-line activism: people standing up for each other to fight for respect and sovereignty. it makes me want to do more and do better.

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