Return and Liberation: Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North America

Friday, May 3, 2013 - 21:00 to Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 18:00

May 3-5, 2013

University of British Columbia - Conference Centre: Buchanan A Building (A101)

Unceded Musqueam Territories
Vancouver, BC, Canada


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This conference – which will take place at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on May 3-5, 2013 – will bring together Palestinian and Arab organizers, activists and community members to discuss our collective role as Palestinians in our liberation movement and assert our voice as Palestinians in shatat/exile.

There is more information about the conference at our website, This conference is being organized from the ground up, and will benefit from the active involvement and participation of Palestinian organizations and organizers across North America. The conference will include facilitated workshops, plenary discussions, conversations, and presentations – it welcomes your participation, your voice, and your active involvement in reclaiming the voice of the shatat.

Accomodations information is available online, at  If you have any questions, or require solidarity housing, please email us at

Highlights of the program include the two KEYNOTE PLENARIES:

PALESTINIAN REPRESENTATION: Raising Our Voices in the Shatat in North America

The PLO is historically regarded as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, an overarching mechanism by which we all came together to deliberate on the strategies of our national movement. In this plenary, we will discuss the histories of political representation in our national movement, and what representation might mean today. Some of the questions addressed will include: What did the PLO look like, what does it look like now, and how/can it be remade? What can we learn from our earlier revolutionary histories? How has the current lack of representation impacted our struggle, and our ability to develop a coherent and cohesive national strategy for liberation and return? How do we create representation bodies that are inclusive of all our people and forces, and serve the needs of our national movement? How do we embody our demands for popular and democratic representation in our own communities and associations?

LOOKING BACK, FORGING FORWARD: Strengthening our Organizing in the Shatat

This plenary will examine Palestinian organizing in the shatat, looking at the past and moving to the present day. We will discuss the reasons and implications for how different methods and mechanisms came to frame our organizing as part of our liberation movement, and consider frameworks moving forward. Some of the questions addressed will include: What have been the organizing trends within the history of our movement? What has been the historical role of students, workers, and women? How do we forge our role and revitalize our sense of national responsibility in the shatat? How do our communities currently organize? What internal and external challenges are confronting our communities? How do we build community accountability and organizing discipline? How can we imagine and strategize ways to connect our organizing in North America with our brothers and sisters on the ground and in exile?

This is a critical time for the Palestinian people and the national liberation movement, and this conference is an opportunity to connect, build and mobilize our people in North America. Conference participants will not only gain knowledge, but are expected to commit themselves to collectively and democratically working together to re-build and revive our national liberation movement.


University of British Columbia, Buchanan A Building
1866 Main Mall
Vancouver , BC
49° 16' 2.3376" N, 123° 15' 17.388" W
British Columbia CA
Friday, 5 pm - 9 pm; Saturday 8 am - 10 pm; Sunday 8 am - 2 pm

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