United we Stand, Divided we Fall!
We are witnessing a time of radical growth of fascism with authoritarian governments and dictatorships cracking down the social movements on all sides of the globe. A time of escalating wars with increasing state and para-state violence, that target social, political and cultural organizations, campaigns and leaders at first, criminalizing, killing, incarcerating and delegitimizing any expression of resistance against the systems of power. The methods may vary, but an attack on one is an attack on all, be it in Colombia, Honduras, Turkey, Sudan, Palestine or Germany.
We reject the decision made by YAAM Berlin that effectively led to the censorship and cancelation of Talib Kweli’s scheduled concert. Talib Kweli, an African-American rapper and hip hop artist, supports the legitimate initiative of the Palestinian people of exercising pressure on the state of Israel by means of international law and the international BDS boycott campaign. This decision complies with the repressive bill signed by the German parliament on the 15th of May of 2019, which aims at silencing the Palestine solidarity movement through stigmatization and criminalization, thereby affirming the Israeli apartheid on Palestinian territory and the systematic displacement and oppression of its people. This decision comes shortly after Kweli’s disinvitation from the Open Source Festival in Düsseldorf for the same reason and the cancellation of the bank account of the german-based association «Jewish Voice for a Just Peace» by the Bank für Sozialwirtschaft.
The German state is not really interested in fighting racism and antisemitism, but in fighting every expression in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, as induced and cheered by the extreme right-wing government of Israel. The latest political bans of Palestinian leftists Khaled Barakat and Rasmea Odeh and the police repression against the communist youth group Jugendwiderstand for their antifascist and pro-Palestinian activity affirm this fact.
The bill will not bring about any progress in the fight of antisemitism but will help to foster structural racism and extend the apartheid from Palestine to Germany. The demonization of the Palestinian cause is being used to divide and conquer progressive spaces, institutions and organizations, using politics of intimidation, fear and paranoia. Isolation and censorship are tactics that not only target the Palestinian movement, but all of us. We will not let this happen.
We, the Bloque Latinoamericano, a Berlin based alliance of organizations active in the resistance movements of Latin America, recognize our struggle in the struggle of the Palestinians. Just like the indigenous people of the American continent were terrorized, exterminated, robbed and repressed by the European colonial powers, so were the Palestinians handed over from British to Zionist rule of expulsion, occupation and siege. Not only the Palestinians are being repressed, invisibilized and denied their existence, the same is and has been the case for indigenous and Black communities in Latinamerica.
YAAM is a space that regularly hosts concerts by artists from around the world, from Africa, Latinamerica and the Middle East. It hosts contemporary expressions of a living culture that with every tone expresses our centuries long history of resistance and struggle for freedom. We hope this to stay this way, instead of turning into a cultural platform for the mainstream politics of exclusion.
From the Mapuche people of Wallmapu and the popular sectors of Argentina and Chile to the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the decade-long resistance in Colombia, to the students and workes of Brazil and Ayotzinapa, Mexico, from Algeria over Sudan to the people of Palestine, our peoples’ will for freedom will not be silenced. Our struggles against (neo)colonialism, imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy are struggles for life itself, for the well-being of our communities and the planet we live in.
To all progressive communities, organizations and activists in Berlin, movements from the global South, Migrants, Refugees and Germans, Antiracists and Antiimperialists: Let us stand together against all intents of division, against all attempts of intimidation led by the structures of power, which only defend their capital. Let’s join our forces to defend our rights, to fight for social justice and freedom for all the oppressed of the world.
«The child Mary doesn’t want your punishment,
she is going to free herself with the Palestinian soil.
We are Africans, Latin Americans,
we are the south and we join our hands together.»
Ana Tijoux & Shadia Mansour, Somos Sur (We are the South)
Long live international solidarity!
The people, united, will never be defeated!
Bloque Latinoamericano Berlín