Last week, the U.S. vetoed a U.N. resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. In response, the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces called for a global strike on December 11, in solidarity with Palestine.
Many activists amplified the message on social media, asking the public to refrain from economic activity such as going to work or school or spending money. A few Portland restaurants and food businesses, like Hinterland Empire and Obon Shokudo, answered the call for a global strike and closed for the day. Others stayed open and showed support by sharing information about Palestine, or raising money: In lieu of closing, Deadstock, Ian Williams’s sneakerhead-centric coffee shop, donated all of its sales on Monday to the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund.
For some businesses, striking wasn’t a viable action — loss of a day’s revenue would be detrimental to survival, especially during the slow winter season. “We’re unfortunately open today because, frankly, we can’t afford not to be,” the team behind Sri Lankan restaurant Mirisata wrote in an Instagram story post on December 11. “We encourage everyone to participate in the strike however they are able and to continue showing up for Palestine in all the ways at their disposal.”
Those who didn’t participate in the strike but would like to show solidarity with the civilians of Gaza — or Palestine at large — have several other options, supported by members of the Portland food service community. Here are more ways Portlanders are showing support for the Palestinian community below:
Mutual aid for Palestinians living in Portland: The folks behind Sugar Goblin Bakes and Source Foods and Goods have been providing free meal deliveries for Palestinian folks in Portland. The project takes donations to cover food costs through a Venmo account and is accepting volunteers to help cook or make deliveries.
Shop for a cause: Kolectivo, a new event space from the folks behind Magna, Sunrice, Tikim, and Eavening, will host a holiday market called Noche Buena on December 17. Food and drink will be available for purchase from the dessert-centric cocktail bar Libre, Puerto Rican pop-up WEPA, Magna, and Sunrice. Admission is free, but organizers are inviting guests and vendors to add to a collective donation pool for both Palestinian aid efforts and support for those impacted by the Lahaina, Hawai‘i wildfires earlier this year; specific programs receiving the donations have yet to be announced.
Weekly letter writing: Inspired by a “call-in” on Instagram issued by baker Jaclyn Nakashima and community organizer A’misa Chiu, the queer and transgender Asian and Pacific Islander writing project Liminal Bodies is hosting a weekly letter writing session for Asian and BIPOC communities. Held every Wednesday at Migration Brewing on NE Glisan Street, the event intends to be a space to build community, share resources, and write letters to political representatives, family and friends, organizations, and media.