Reem’s Bakery Protest In Oakland

Posted: January 29, 2018 in Living
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Reem’s storefront bakery is usually closed Sundays, with most businesses in the Fruitvale BART plaza slower without the weekday bustle. But over the weekend about two dozen protesters gathered in front, saying the mural inside glorifies a terrorist.

The fairly new Arab bakery has been targeted by protesters before for its mural inside featuring Rasmeah Odeh, who was convicted in a 1969 Jerusalem grocery bombing that killed two and injured nine. She was released a decade later in a prisoner exchange, and said her confession came after torture including beatings and sexual abuse. In recent years she faced charges for not disclosing the information when she immigrated to the United States, and deported.

On Sunday, the cafe was hosting Sunaina Maira, a UC Davis professor and author of “Boycott! The Academy and Justice for Palestine.” Inside looked full, like 50 or so people, pretty good for a Sunday afternoon book reading anywhere. The bakery, which does a lot of business at farmers markets and other pop-ups, is also politically active in various social justice causes and held the event with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. Supporters characterized the protesters as right-wing, Zionists and supporting the oppression of Palestinians. If you want to check out the bakery, they are at http://reemscalifornia.com/

The protesters, however, reject that, saying it is about hating Jews, and that killers should not be celebrated. Many made a point to say they are involved in liberal causes. They carried signs and tried getting into a conversation with the dozen or so bakery supporters standing as a buffer between the business during the author’s talk. Instead they were silent as the protesters aired their side, which included criticizing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel. After a half hour to hour they left, though as with anything related to this conflict, I’m sure it will not be the end. They have a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/boycottReemsCalifornia.

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