Greetings, comrades. I am honored to be invited to share a message of solidarity on behalf of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and liberation. This week marks the 72nd commemoration of al-nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe, the creation of settler-colonial state of Israel and the ongoing expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians. It is ever more fitting to addressing you all on African Liberation Day and the theme of sanctions, and international solidarity.
The occupation of Palestine and the colonial construction of nation states in our region have shaped our lived reality, not unlike that of the African continent. Since then, we have seen sanctions, a cornerstone of US foreign policy, and tool of economic warfare being used to quell democratic movements, to impede political development and to challenging those opposing Western or US hegemony. Sanctions are a tool of imperialism, and people’s liberation movements are a contradiction to it. Whether it’s decades of US sanctions on Iraq, the ongoing sanctions on Iran, or the blockade on Gaza, sanctions further western exploitation and domination. And under the COVID pandemic, sanctions further isolate people, and inhibit the ability to access critical medical supplies and equipment to adequately respond to the moment.
We understand Israel is an instrument of US imperialism and global repression. Its existence is necessary for the economic and political devastation of the Arab world. And the US-Israeli partnership has been used to help crush movements worldwide – from Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the African continent. Israel is a reminder of the sheer commitment of the US and its allies in maintaining its political, economic, military domination.
We understand the liberation of Palestine as a contribution to movements globally. Isolating Israel economically, politically and culturally through tactic like the boycotting, divesting and sanctioning apartheid, puts a dent into US imperialism. We not only stand with our other Black and Brown, and oppressed brothers and sisters across the world, we understand our fight as your fight, we understand ourselves in joint struggle with one another.
We are in joint struggle against the ravages of capitalism, neoliberalism and western interventions. It is a duty of all people of conscience to unequivocally oppose US sanctions on Venezuela, Cuba, and Zimbabwe, and the over two dozen other countries where US has imposed sanctions. As Palestinians, we are indebted to Cuba for its solidarity, for the role it played in advancing the Palestinians struggle as part of the third world movement, and its ongoing support of Palestinians students. Just as the people of Zimbabwe have expressed unwavering support for Palestine, it is our duty to support them and demand that the US lift sanctions on Zimbabwe. Let’s remember, our primary enemy, the apartheid state of Israel, armed the racist whites of Rhodesia to attempt to maintain imperialist, white supremacist domination of the African people. It is our duty to stand in solidarity with Venezuela, and Bolivarian revolution and socialist experiments that center interdependence, and people’s economic and food security.
Today, because of the covid pandemic, we are forced to give these messages of solidarity online and think creatively about ways to act in solidarity. During this time, we have witnessed growing solidarity amongst workers and people across the world as we face the global nature of this pandemic. We are also witnessing the crisis of US hegemony and global capitalism. This is an opportunity for us to forge alliances, imagine a world beyond exploitation. Many already understand its imitations and is on us on the left to move beyond that understanding and put forward alternatives, visions, and strategies that bring us closer to what we’re fighting for. These are opportunities to deepen our understanding and practice of internationalism. As the crisis of this pandemic has made clear, we cannot see ourselves as isolated, we are one international community. Just as our adversaries understand their alliances, we must understand ours. What is possible today if we unite across communities to understand the domestic manifestations of fascism, and white supremacy as inextricably linked to the zionist colonial project and imperialism. How do we understand this moment and its vulnerabilities so we can build power and shift the conditions that are threatening the wellbeing of all people?
Thank you for inviting us to participate. We hope that this African Liberation day is yet another steppingstone on our collective path to liberation.