Must Read Roundup (11/17/2023)

From MMIW to Palestine, ShotSpotter, and the rediscovered words of Malcolm X, here are some important stories you may have missed this week.

Must Read Roundup (11/17/2023)

From Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to Palestine, ShotSpotter, ‘climate-sensitive diseases,’ and the rediscovered words of Malcolm X, here are some important stories you may have missed this week.

Don’t Let Biden and Blinken Get Away With Aiding a Second Nakba by Michel Moushabeck. “Palestinians want to live in their homes; on their land; with freedom, dignity and equality; and without fear. It is our duty as U.S. taxpayers to uplift the Palestinian struggle and to demand that our elected officials hold Israel accountable for its atrocities, and work for an end to the ongoing U.S. complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights.”

Israel fails to show evidence of Hamas command center at al-Shifa hospital by Maureen Clare Murphy. “Israel’s own propaganda published in the aftermath of the raid shows that Netanyahu and the military’s longstanding accusation that Hamas uses al-Shifa to shield its command center is a deadly lie.”

The Missing Malcolm X by Garrett Felber. “The rediscovered material reminds us that Malcolm sought a politics that was collective, and not solely reliant on his—or anyone’s—leadership.”

Israeli settler attacks force 963 Palestinians out of West Bank homes since Gaza war started by Adam Lucente. “As of Sunday, a total of 963 Palestinians have left their homes in the West Bank due to attacks, threats and restrictions by Israeli settlers since the war began Oct. 7. That number over four weeks is nearly double those who fled the West Bank in the 21 months prior. According to B’Tselem’s data, around 480 Palestinians left their West Bank homes from January 2022 until October 2023.”

The Extreme Ambitions of West Bank Settlers by Isaac Chotiner. “In Israel, there’s a lot of support for settlements, and this is why there have been right-wing governments for so many years. The world, especially the United States, thinks there is an option for a Palestinian state, and, if we continue to build communities, then we block the option for a Palestinian state. We want to close the option for a Palestinian state, and the world wants to leave the option open. It’s a very simple thing to understand.” — Daniella Weiss, a leader of Israel’s settlement movement

CEO Says Johnson’s 2024 Budget Includes ShotSpotter by Jim Daley. “[Chicago] Mayor Brandon Johnson’s 2024 budget includes funding to continue the city’s use of ShotSpotter, a controversial gunshot-detection system owned by SoundThinking, according to Ralph Clark, the company’s CEO. Clark also expressed optimism to investors this week that the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) pilot of CrimeTracer, another SoundThinking product, will expand into the “mid or high six-figures” by the end of 2024. Johnson pledged to cancel the ShotSpotter contract during his campaign.”

It’s not just extreme weather: ‘Climate-sensitive’ diseases are spreading through the US by Zoya Teirstein. “Deadly illnesses such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and alpha-gal syndrome, all spread by different kinds of ticks, could reach new areas as temperatures continue to rise, the report says.”

One Woman Died on an Alaska Mayor’s Property. Then Another. No One Has Ever Been Charged by Kyle Hopkins. “Kirk and Norton, both Inupiaq, had each dated sons of the former borough mayor, and the sons had previously been convicted of beating each of them. One of the sons had admitted to strangling Kirk twice before. Another pleaded guilty to kicking Norton in the stomach when she was six months pregnant. No one has ever been charged with a crime in connection to the deaths.”

How to Get Lost: Rejecting the world in favor of humanity by Sarah Kendzior. “They brag about the employment rate because they have given you all new jobs. Your job is to acclimatize yourself to their dark ambitions. Your job is to accept a vicious hierarchy in which some lives are deemed disposable, in the hope that you will be spared. Your job is to back the winning side, which is the killing side, under the illusion that they will have your back when your time comes.”


If you are looking for something to listen to this weekend, Millennials Are Killing Capitalism has a host of episodes on Israel and Palestine that are worth checking out. I’ll be digging into their latest episode this weekend,  “War Is the Basis of Accumulation” - Ali Kadri on Genocide, Waste, Imperialism, and the Commodification of Death. They have put out 16 livestreams in recent days that contain a wealth of information, so if you want to go on a learning binge, look no further.


Reading a poem a day is part of my psychological upkeep. Often, I revisit poems I’ve read before, but I am also always looking for new material. I believe that reading poetry is a lot like listening to music or watching the rolling waves of Lake Michigan, in that the experience activates a part of my mind that can easily go untouched amid my daily grind of hard work and bad news. Personally, I need that stimulus, it keeps me creative and grounded in my humanity. Even when the poems I read break my heart, they also make renewal possible — which is something rest alone won’t bring. So, if you are like me and you need some poetry in your life, I recommend checking out Before the Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up from Brooklyn to Palestine by Remi Kanazi.

Final Thoughts

If you are feeling overwhelmed this week, you’re in good company. Most of the organizers in my life are giving their all right now, and many are exhausted. Sometimes, the demands of a fast-paced moment get the better of us, and we need to rest and reassess our capacity or even rethink the roles we’re trying to play. But other times, when we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s because we aren’t getting the support we need. So, this week, I thought I would share a few resources that might help you stay in the game.

The Interrupting Criminalization Help Desk is currently available by appointment to people organizing in solidarity with Palestine who need help thinking through safety, security, and mutual aid. I trust the folks at IC and have utilized the Help Desk myself when I needed some thought partnership. The help my group received was invaluable. You can reach out as an individual or as a group. So if you need some free assistance, don’t be afraid to ask.

If you’re concerned about safety and security, I also recommend checking out Vision Change Win’s Get In Formation Toolkit. The toolkit is a collection of security and safety practices that draws on the wisdom of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who have been organizing for decades. The toolkit was edited by safety and security practitioners with a range of 10-40 years of experience. It includes handouts, tips, and worksheets to support you in growing or building your community safety practices and/or teams.

A tool that’s been useful to me recently is one many of you may have seen or heard of: the Social Change Ecosystem Map. Created by Deepa Iyer, The Social Change Ecosystem Map is a framework that helps organizations and individuals map their shared values, and consider the roles they play in social change efforts. As someone who has worn a lot of hats over the years in my work, I find the map helps me to evaluate what roles I am playing, or ought to be playing. Sometimes, this tool can help us reel ourselves in when we are trying to do too much and help us assess how we can best contribute to the work of the moment. The map can also help us think about what roles we don’t want to get swept up in — or pushed into.

Lastly, if you are thinking about strategy, I recommend checking out the resources page of The Center for Story-Based Strategy’s website. They have a wealth of tools that can help you formulate narrative strategies for your actions and campaigns.

If you are looking for something on a subject I haven’t covered here, feel free to reach out. I would be glad to send a link your way if I know of something that might help.

May we all have the support we need to do whatever must be done in the coming week. If you are protesting and agitating in defense of Palestine, don’t stop. The pressure we apply matters and our opponents are getting weaker. As Dan Berger told us this week:

Our actions are working, and they are not enough. Nothing we do is sufficient, and everything we do matters. We must be strategic, and we must operate on multiple fronts simultaneously. Time is of the essence, and we have to act for the long haul. This is how change happens.

In solidarity,


Photo: Kelly Hayes