On Wednesday night, Unshackle NU and NU Divest co-sponsored a screening of “Detaining Dreams,” a film about the treatment of Palestinian youth in Israeli prisons and military courts, as part of their ongoing series on the school-to-prison-pipeline.
Before the film began members of NU Divest introduced speaker Aislinn Pulley, a lead organizer of Black Lives Matter Chicago. She discussed the Israeli justice system, and the differences between Israeli and Palestinian teens within that system, which is designed to segregate the two groups.
The short film (available to watch in full here) focused on the arrests and detainments of four Palestinian teens. Each from different towns, the unrelated young men told similar stories about being violently arrested and accused of, at worst, throwing stones. Many of them stated that police or lawyers tried to force them to admit guilt to crimes they had not committed.
“There are so many parallels between Palestinians and black youth in Chicago,” Pulley said after the film, wearing a scarf that read "Palestine."
She drew connections between Palestinians living under occupation and the presence of metal detectors, police and holding cells in Chicago Public Schools. She also stated the Palestinians were one of the first groups to reach out to black protesters in Ferguson about how to combat tear gas used by police.
“All of these fight are connected,” she said.
The next Unshackle NU event will be tomorrow at 8 p.m. with Chicago activist Kai M. Green, in a talk titled "From School to Prison: The Confinement of Blackness.