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Call for immediate ceasefire

EDITOR, The Tribune.

JOINING the voices of non-governmental organisations, feminist movements, and activists all over the world, Equality Bahamas calls for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Palestine by Israel.

The genocide in Gaza is not an isolated event which can be ignored by black people, Bahamian people, Caribbean people, or people of any other identities that have been colonised and systemically oppressed. Equality Bahamas condemns the ongoing occupation, colonisation, and genocide taking place in Palestine.

Palestine was colonised by the British in 1920 and, in 1948, the land was “given” to the Jewish people — stolen from indigenous Palestinians —for the creation of Israel. More than 85 percent of historic Palestine is now occupied and under Israeli military control.

Palestine, which continues to shrink by the day, has had over 700 checkpoints enforced for Palestinians, Jewish-only road systems, and ongoing restrictions of water and electricity. In addition, Palestinians are geographically categorised into five groups — West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, “Israeli” territories, and those in exile, with each group having varying levels of access to human rights.

In the most recent escalation of violence since October 7, 2023, more than 31,000 Palestinians have been killed, and 46,000 have been injured by Israeli forces. There are now more than six million Palestinian refugees worldwide, many of whom are not allowed to return to Palestine.

The military attacks on civilian populations have disproportionately affected women and children who make up 70 percent of those killed. Hospitals are being targeted by the Israeli military, where women are undergoing childbirth without access to clean water, Cesarean sections are being performed without anesthesia and neonatal units are without electricity. Reproductive and sexual health services and menstrual products are no longer available in Gaza.

Equality Bahamas calls its supporters to recognise what is happening now in Gaza and the ongoing colonisation in all of Palestine.

“We know displacement. We know separation from our people and our land. We know the loss of histories, culture, institutions, and social structures. We know separation from our resources as they are plundered,” said Alicia Wallace, director of Equality Bahamas. “We know the indifference of people and institutions in positions of power. We, however, know just as well, the power of solidarity that crosses borders and languages. We know the necessity of banding together, recognizing that our struggles are connected, as is our liberation.”

“We have seen the denial of healthcare to women. We have seen cruelty against children. We have seen the targeting of activists and journalists. We have seen arbitrary detention and denial of justice. We have seen places of safety, known for medical care, education, and prayer, targeted and destroyed to communicate to us that we are not protected by any imagined mutual respect for what they symbolise or provide,” Ms Wallace said. “We have been trapped. We have run with no way out. We have reasoned, cried, and screamed, hid, fought, and dared, protected, mourned, and rallied. We know loss. We know death. We know exhaustion. We, however, know just as well, the power of resistance that rises up from the ground beneath our feet, beats within our hearts, and courses through our veins. We know the necessity of resistance—refusing to back down, disobeying, and claiming our inherent power.”

There is no justification for the denial of human rights and systematic killing of Palestinian people.

We mourn the loss of all Palestinian lives. We call for an immediate ceasefire. We acknowledge the work of the activists and journalists on the ground, sharing information and calling for global action. We recognise the resilience of the Palestinian people over the past decade, and we acknowledge the injustice embedded in the concept of resilience.

We call for the mobilisation of all people who know and share in the struggle against colonialism, racism, capitalism, and the dehumanisation of people, and for collective freedom. We call on people with privilege and power to break their silence, inhabit the discomfort of disturbing and opposing their peers, and make financial contributions to sustain life and end the genocide in Palestine.

Today, we call on the government of The Bahamas to clearly, unequivocally state its call for a ceasefire. We call on the general public to learn about what is happening in Palestine, read the statement by the CEDAW Committee (tiny.cc/cedawpalestine), sign the call for a ceasefire, participate in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, and share the posts made by Palestinian people and pro-Palestine organizations on the daily reality of Palestinians and the actions required of others. We call for unity in the call for a ceasefire now.

EQUALITY BAHAMAS

March 13, 2024

Comments

Porcupine 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Excellent statement. And, exactly right on what is going on. Silence is betrayal. All it takes for evil to persist is for good people to remain silent. We must speak out on the atrocity presently occurring in Gaza. The Palestinians have a right to resist the occupation of a foreign military, just as the international community has said for decades. Listen to Nelson Mandela's position. It is all available on the internet. Thanks for publishing this call for human decency. This is what is being asked here. Human decency

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