WHY WE RALLY
The team shares their perspectives:
My father was made a war orphan by American missiles, and so I hope to always be on the side of the colonized against the bullets of the empire. “Every bombed village,” wrote James Baldwin, “is my hometown.” Each day, whether through my work at The ARD or in my community, I hope to honor the activists who taught me that struggle is not only possible but necessary; that a principled stand against racism, imperialism, displacement, and dispossession is demanded of us all, though the costs may be higher than we could imagine; and that oppressed communities have only survived because of the struggles of those who came before us. As I write this, the Israeli government has rained thousands of American missiles on the most densely populated city in the world, one fenced in by an apartheid regime that starves them, bombs them, and prevents them from leaving only because of their faith and ethnicity. Nothing can justify this. We are being asked to support ethnic cleansing in Gaza. No matter the consequences, we must refuse. Such support must be given, in material contributions and rebellious acts, to the Palestinian struggle for liberation, especially by citizens of countries like the United States that are orchestrating the horrors. I hope for the defeat of settler-colonialism, white supremacy, and state violence in Palestine, in the Americas, and around the globe. If our “anti-racism” is to be more than a cruel joke, we must support the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
Andrew Lee, Managing Editor
Standing in solidarity with Palestine has always been clear to me. Though I would be remiss if I didn’t note that, at moments, I’d say to myself, “Am I missing something… What am I not seeing?” in response to the constant condemning of Palestinians, conflating support with antisemitism, rejoicing in people being “pulverized,” and the “it’s complicated and a complex history” discourse. The questioning was more so disbelief given what was so clear cut and what, at least I thought, was universally known to be true: that ethnic cleansing, apartheid, colonialism, and genocide are bad. And therefore, any state/nation/institution that carries out these atrocities, especially in the supposed name of a marginalized group, is racist (among other anti- and -isms), not for the people, and should not be supported. No marginalized group can truly benefit from the genocide of another. We move one step towards freedom in the liberation of each other.
And maybe I’m still wrong in this understanding. Maybe it is a complex issue.
But right now is not the time to wax poetic about the complexities of the Middle East and the Holy Land. Or fall into the belief that this is an equally stacked fight. Or to regress into “all lives matter”-ing and “what about” rhetoric. Or write dissertations on who owns this land, who started it, or the appropriate ways to (re)act. All that is noise and fodder to discourage support and desensitize us to the state-sanctioned, U.S. funded mass murder of Palestinian people across generations.
And while I can and do hold space to grief and be angry for all those who have ever been taken from us, the people of Palestine need my grief, my anger, my voice more right now.
So, yes, I stand with Palestine.
Dominique Stewart, Assistant Editor
My family is from Cape Verde. When I was a teen and learned that my country became free by sieging war against Portugal, I was appalled. How could a people – my people – that experienced so much pain choose war as their response? But as I’ve grown and gained more clarity on how the world views my Blackness, queerness, and womanhood, I’ve come to understand. Violence should never be the “answer.” But violence is the syntax of our lives. The violent system of white supremacy chooses violence as its default. It’s done a good job of hiding it; delivering death instead by a thousand paper cuts through policies and practices that discriminate, minimize, and disempower. It’s well-versed in massive acts of violence, too – ethnic cleansing, genocide, and forced removal, but those stories are always justified by a bigger rationale that favors a superior religion, skin color, gender, or ethnicity. It gives the power to large, well-funded nations to justify violence – in all its forms – against people who barely have the means to defend themselves. And when they resist, the narrative is used against them so their descendants – like me – believe that an African community unrooted from their homes is to blame. I am here today because of resistance, not just in Cape Verde, but the violent revolts that helped to liberate enslaved people in the U.S., and all the violent acts in the name of justice and liberation for all people, starting with those most oppressed. I’ll continue to rally for the liberation of Palestinian people for the freedom and liberation of Israel, Palestine, and us all.
Regardless of the systemic injustices we face here and in sibling countries abroad, there’s one common threat: how white supremacy is twisted and weaponized against marginalized people. From the transatlantic slave trade to Japanese internment and the Holocaust, so many vile acts of injustice have been sieged in the name of protecting false notions of superiority.
Nicole Cardoza, Founder, Editor-in-Chief
• Contact your representatives to demand an immediate ceasefire and end of U.S. aid for Israeli apartheid. This link includes a script and click-to-call feature.
• Join a local protest against the Gaza genocide and make plans to attend the November 4 National March on Washington.
• Emergency Relief for Gaza: PaliRoots and the Middle East Children’s Alliance are mobilizing to deliver food and hygiene products to displaced families from Beit Lahia in the north to Rafah in the south.
• Palestinian Youth Movement: PYM is a transnational, independent, grassroots organization of young Palestinians in Palestine and in exile mobilizing to end the occupation.
• Anera: Anera provides life-sustaining humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Jordan. Their staff in Gaza use donations to purchase hygiene and medical kits and prepare hot meals while the organization prepares relief supplies to be sent in if a humanitarian corridor is opened.