“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

– James Baldwin

The many ways in which colonisation is enacted – apartheid, genocide, settler occupation of land, violence, silencing – is nothing new to many of us and our communities. This is especially true for those who have histories of (forced) migration due to the very same powers of colonial domination and violence. 

We are having to grapple with the maangamizi (annihilation of a people, African holocaust), lack of safety and dignity, and the pain, grief and anguish that comes with being blatantly dehumanised – through the direct experiences of violence and harms, and also through having to minimise ourselves and the ancestral and inter-generational traumas we carry from being subject to colonial exploits around the world. We are also having to endure repeats of many of the global north world leaders who are standing by and either doing nothing or justifying the genocidal actions despite the majority of their citizens calling for action. 

As we write this, there’s a powerful tool of colonisation at play – evoking our trauma responses to the visceral harms we are witnessing and facing. On the surface level, this might look like a deep fear of getting it wrong (freeze trauma response) or having to ‘pick a side’. With all the best intentions in the world, we play right into the coloniser’s hands by not creating or allowing space for the complexity and nuance of histories of both experiencing and perpetrating harms. 

So, while imperfect, we are resisting ‘divide and rule’ – the polarisation and weaponisation of us against each other. We are sitting with the pain whilst refusing to stay silent. And we are asking for us to find ways to hold the complexity together but must centre those who are most impacted by these imperialist actions.

We stand in solidarity with people who are subject to displacement, apartheid, genocide, ecocide, violence and harm in Palestine, Sudan, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and others all over the world.

We stand with people who are impacted, and others whose religions, identities and lived experiences continue to be used in violent ways to fuel division, war and oppression.

As the world witnesses the genocide and apartheid state that has been ongoing and unfolding for decades, as the imperialists, those in most positions of power and the elected fold their arms, justify ongoing actions and vilify those who are speaking up for justice, we call on humanity and the spirit of Umundu (also ubuntu, African philosophy of humanity/human-ness.

We also acknowledge the liberatory spirit. We uphold and uplift resistance to oppression in its different manifestations. We acknowledge all who have refused to be bystanders, who have dared to speak up, who have taken action to challenge powers that be and sometimes at a great cost. As Fredrick Douglass said “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and never will”

In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.

Wangari Maathai
  • 2023 Palestine Liberation Resource List here

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