“Since our founding in 1998, the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NC EJN) takes its commitment to freedom and justice seriously. We believe that those who are part of the movement for social, political, economic, and environmental justice in the United States have no choice but to connect the local to the global. This belief is guided by the historical fact that 1). Our freedom movement in the United States has a tradition of being firm in its opposition to apartheid, colonialism, and imperialism and 2). The power structure that has caused the suffering of our communities in North Carolina and throughout the U.S. has done the same to other people across the world.
As activists in the United States fought for an end to apartheid in South Africa throughout the twentieth century, they also critiqued and spoke out against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. In fact, the South African anti-apartheid movement was so intertwined with the struggle for Palestinian freedom that Nelson Mandela declared in 1997 that “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestine.” Palestinian freedom and self-determination has always been a core part of our movement’s mandate. That is an undeniable historical truth.”