The Palestinian Truth Tour delivers unfiltered information about life in Palestine from the perspectives and voices of artists and activists.An eclectic cast is involved in the St. Petersburg tour stop, taking place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. April 27, at the offices of the African People's Education and Defense Fund.
Best reason to attend: You'll learn something the nightly news neglected to tell you.
Two videos are being screened: Meen Erhabe, a music video for the Palestinian hip-hop group Dam, and No One Need Cry, a 34-minute documentary shot just after the Jenin massacre, a two-week Israeli assault on Jenin, West Bank, which resulted in the deaths of more than 80 Palestinians and Israelis. Filmmaker Maren Karlitsky documented the scene in April 2002 while events were, to some extent, still happening. Without narration, the film allows Palestinians to tell their own stories, and the camera sees what they see.
North Carolina artist Ellen O'Grady, who lived and worked in the West Bank and Gaza from 1989 to 1996, shares paintings and stories from her eight-week trip last summer to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Grady returned to the area last July and August with the International Solidarity Movement on their Freedom Summer campaign.
Nijmie Dzurinko, a youth organizer and Arab-American activist from Philadelphia, reads poems and stories resulting from her three months in Palestine, working with the International Women's Peace Service.
Jerusalem-born activist Ora Wise performs spoken word. Wise is one of the organizers of this year's National Student Conference in Solidarity with Palestine.
Singer/songwriter Gabriella Callender performs her fierce, revolutionary tunes. Callender, the musical director of the women of color performance group Mahina Movement, has performed throughout her home state of New York and across the country.
It's important to note that the tour has an overarching message of peace and solidarity. Diverse organizations working for Middle East peace have volunteers offering information. Participating groups include the International Women's Peace Service; Voices in the Wilderness (info on Iraq); and the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led coalition of citizens from around the world concerned with human rights in Palestine.
The event's sponsor is Citizens United for Shared Prosperity & the African People's Socialist Party. It's endorsed by the Florida Alliance for Peace & Social Justice, the American Indian Movement, the African People's Solidarity Committee and others. The African People's Education and Defense Fund is located at 1245 18th Ave. S., St. Petersburg. For more information, call 727-821-2437.