Canadian BDS Coalition has joined with civil society groups in signing a letter by a coalition of progressive Palestinian, internationalist, and leftist groups and collectives in Berlin condemning the Berlin police’s decision to ban all public gatherings on Nakba Day. See statement below.
The police in Berlin, the capital of Germany, have banned all public commemorations of the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.
The events banned by the police include two marches, two awareness-raising tents and a cultural gathering, scheduled for May 13-15.
United against Repression – United for Freedom and Justice
May 15 is Nakba Day – a day of remembrance of the expulsion of Palestinians, a day of struggle against ongoing Zionist settlement colonialism, a day of unbroken Palestinian resistance and a day of international solidarity.
As has taken place and escalated over the past year, massive repression is being directed against Palestinian groups and demonstrations in Berlin. The authorities want to prevent thousands of people from pouring into the streets of the capital, the site of the largest Palestinian community in Europe. As a result, numerous demonstrations by various groups planned for next Sunday’s Nakba Day have been banned!
This outrageous assault on Palestinian memory and Palestinian lives is a racist act of discrimination. In their justifications of the bannings Berlin police repeatedly declare that Palestinians are “emotional” about the killing of their people and the confiscation of their land. The labeling of legitimate Palestinian anger and commitment to pursue justice in the face of over 100 years of colonialism as a “threat to public safety” is an abhorrent act of censorship.
As a flimsy reason for the bans, the authorities also accuse all demonstrations being held to commemorate the Nakba in Berlin, and even the entire Palestine movement, of anti-Semitism across the board. The face of the German repressive apparatus is clearly shown in these measures: all means should be used to prevent international solidarity from breaking out. Because the state fears a broad anti-imperialist movement that, beyond solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle, focuses on Germany’s complicity and its own imperialist interests.
We do not accept these prohibitions! Nakba Day is our day of struggle and we resolutely stand united against repression. As the German state and media seek to denigrate and divide us, we join forces and defend our common right to send a strong signal from the streets of Berlin to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and around the world: Our struggle for the Freedom is a just fight! Our fight against imperialism is a just fight! We call on all groups in solidarity with Palestine and those fighting against imperialism around the world to join us and to stand up to repression.
Long live international solidarity!