#Arabs4BlackPower Releases Movement For Black Lives Solidarity Statement

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Above Photo: The Dream Defenders in downtown Nazareth, Israel, in January 2015COURTESY OF MAY ALHASSEN

#Arabs4BlackPower is “committed to Black liberation and grounded in the necessity of shared struggle among oppressed & Indigenous peoples globally.”

Arabs for Black Power—a circle of organizers from the United States and Arabic-speaking regions—has released a statement in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.

The Movement for Black Lives, or M4BL, is raising global consciousness about state-sanctioned and state-perpetuated violence against people of color in the United States, as well as actively working to dismantle the institutional and systemic oppression that makes these extrajudicial killings just another day in North America.

M4BL also stands in solidarity with indigenous and Latinx communities, as well as oppressed and marginalized people around the world.

Read the #Arabs4BlackPower statement below:

We, the undersigned artists, academics, mothers, fathers, students, refugees, and community organizers with ties to Arabic­-speaking regions, declare our unwavering solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). We fully and wholeheartedly endorse the policy demands put forth by the US­-based Movement for Black Lives platform and its transnationalist vision for Black power, freedom and justice. We join you in reiterating the necessity of shared struggle and collective liberation of all oppressed and indigenous people globally. For liberation to be real and genuine, we all need to get free.

The current iteration of the movement to end the war and genocide against Black people in the US is rooted in centuries of the Black freedom struggle. As we commemorate the month of Black August and its history of radical resistance, we as #Arabs4BlackPower commit to amplifying the rebellions of Black and indigenous people in the settler­-colonies of the Americas; and to joining in the fight against white supremacy, patriarchy, and hyper­-militarized late capitalism.

Once again, Black people in the US are defending themselves from the violence inscribed in the Americas’ settler colonialist regimes built on the backs of Indigenous, Black, and Brown people through the expropriation of indigenous lands, genocide, and slavery. Once again, Black freedom fighters are refusing colonial and imperial narratives that uphold white supremacy and are continuing to craft a language rooted in the struggle for justice. Once again, Black liberation movements are challenging systems of criminalization that dehumanize, incarcerate, and assassinate Indigenous, Black, and Brown people—systems that simultaneously transcend and reinforce national boundaries through border-control complexes to terrorize people around the world under the umbrella of the global “war on terror.” And once again, Black organizers in the US have put forth a vision to continue imagining and transforming these systems within and across borders.

The U.S. empire violently exerts control over Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities internally and around the globe. People in predominantly Arabic­-speaking regions experience empire in locally specific material forms: bombings, drone strikes, forced disappearances, checkpoints, carceral wars, forced migration, indigenous displacement, starvation, the theft of natural resources, apartheid, and more. The geography of ‘Ferguson to Palestine’ is integral to #Arabs4BlackPower charting the structural connections, albeit different manifestations, inscribed by the US-­led “war on terror.” It connects anti­-Blackness as well as anti­-Muslim and anti­Arab racism in the US with global imperial wars in the rest of the world.

The “war on terror” rests on regional geopolitical alliances forged for the sole purpose of maintaining and furthering imperial and Zionist hegemony. It is situated within a genealogy of colonial legacies that have structured power in Arabic­speaking regions along the lines of gender, religion, ethnicity, skin color, language, and sexual orientation, to name a few. With these genealogies in mind, those of us struggling to rid all communities of the Maghreb and the Mashreq* from militarization and neoliberalism must center the lived experiences and aspirations of women, Black Arabs, Nubians, Imazighen, Kurds, Armenians, migrant workers, refugees, gender­-nonconforming individuals, queers, and others. We pledge to work against marginalization within our communities in all its forms and to continue examining the language we use as we continue dismantling colonial legacies. We must refuse and erase national boundaries created to divide us­­—building with the oppressed from Palestine to Western Sahara, from Yemen to Syria, from Algeria to Sudan, from Tunisia to Egypt and beyond, as we come together in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.

In pledging to resist and overcome, we as #Arabs4BlackPower unequivocally support the M4BL platform for reparations, invest­-divest, economic justice, community control and political power. We recognize, as did many before us, that only through joint struggle will we dismantle the distinct yet intersecting systems that both oppress Black and Indigenous people in the settler colonies of the Americas and institutionalize a war of terror from within US boundaries to the Mashreq, Maghreb, and beyond. To this end, we commit ourselves to combating anti­-Blackness wherever we find it in our communities—both within the boundaries of the US as immigrant­-settlers complicit in white supremacy, as well as in Arabic­speaking regions where socio­-historically distinct forms of discrimination against Black Arabs intersect with other forms of marginalization along the lines of gender, religion, ethnicity, skin color, language, and sexual orientation to name a few.

From Ferguson to Palestine: we will work for liberation. To everyone building towards the Movement for Black Lives:

We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.

**Maghreb and Mashreq are locally referenced geographies within predominantly Arabic speaking regions spanning from the Maghreb (Western Africa) to the Mashreq (Eastern Africa and Western Asia).

In Joint Struggle,

Read the Arabs4BlackPower statement in Arabic here.

  • DHFabian

    Where any effort to address the problem got derailed: What should have been a movement to shine a light on police violence became an anti-white movement. In 2015, for example (according to Washington Post statistics), police killed 990 people. 708 of these were white. (I don’t have the statistics showing the races of the police who killed.) None of the killings of white people resulted in marches for justice. We’ve read many articles about black victims. I vaguely recall reading one or two about white victims some time back.

    I suppose this could be explained-away by any number of arguments. What stands out, however, has been the angry, offended reaction toward anyone who mentions the killing of white people as relevant. Critically important problems can’t be resolved when facts are simply disregarded.

    To get to the root of the problem, it’s necessary to recall that our middle class have demanded Law and Order! at any cost for decades. Zero tolerance, no excuses! Police were militarized, turning police departments into police forces, and we’re just coming to terms with the consequences.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Oh for pity’s sake, you are always meanly blaming the middle class for effects of the inundation of propaganda they suffer from the ruling elite. The middle class is still the working class, so they don’t have the time that ruling elite has to conjure up misdirection, or figure it out when it is poured over them.

    A classic misdirection that you and others love to wield is covering up the fact that anger is provoked by the inherent racism of the disproportionate police killing of black people, as well by the killing itself. By presenting ‘all lives matter’ and similar aphorisms, people like you are deflecting attention away from the complaint against severe, even deadly racism contained in the ‘black lives matter’ cry.

    No, the militarizing of our police did not come from middle class demands, It came from the ruling elite out to make a fast buck, while insulating themselves from riotous dissatisfaction that they know their increasingly severe wealth extraction will cause.

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