Musthujab Makkolath, a young man from Kerala, along with Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy have been creating the remarkable series of posters denoting the duration of India’s siege & blockade. Some have featured the distinct work of Rollie Mukherjee, an artist who has long chronicled her support for Kashmir through art. These posters are historic, not just artistic, & when Kashmir is free will be showcased in their archives of resistance.

From Palestine to Kashmir occupation is a crime. The affinities between the two struggles for self-determination are so profound that uniting them in action will educate about both struggles. It will not weaken either but significantly strengthen both, as this young activist says.

Kashmiris have long supported Palestinians but every once in a while someone would ask ‘why don’t Palestinians express support for Kashmiris?’ Until Kashmiri activists on social media overcame the decades-long news blackout, not many people knew about their struggle, including Palestinians. Because of the power outages in Gaza caused by Israeli bombing, not many Palestinians have access to the internet. By uniting these struggles in action, as this young woman did, more people around the world will come to understand the Israeli & Indian occupations & why they must be opposed.

The photo is from one of the many #StandWithKashmir protests of the past four months but the city, date, & photographer are not identified.

This Australian documentary on Israel’s occupation & torture of Palestinian children by settlers & by the army is six years old but has not lost its validity or its power in exposing how Israel targets children, especially using the charge of stone pelting. There are some issues with the documentary since its portrayal of Obama on this violence is a misrepresentation. His regime did not alter US support for Israel’s occupation by one iota. The segment about the harm done by stone pelting would be fair reporting were it not for the preface ‘there is violence on both sides’.

There were massive protests for Kashmir across the globe that went on for several weeks; there are mass protests in Algeria, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Syria, Iran, Ecuador, Iraq, Kashmir, Palestine (despite the occupations), Catalonia, Guinea, Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, France. There are so many protests across Latin America that they have been dubbed ‘the Latin America Spring’. Capitalism is in turmoil & a profound crisis.

What there haven’t been is protests in solidarity with Palestinians, for refugee rights, or in opposition to the several wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Libya. The protesters in those many countries are where hope lies for rebuilding the international antiwar & solidarity movements which are now in a state of total collapse. Because of the police & military violence against their protests, no one understands solidarity better than the oppressed who rise up against inequality & exploitation & for democracy.

In this photo riot police lobbing tear gas are grabbing a protester at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong on Nov. 18, 2019.

(Photo by Ng Han Guan/AP)

“My Lost Brother

He promised me he would return.
We were going to Nishat after..

He promised me he would return.
I would hold his hand and walk with him

He promised me he would return.
So he could take me to eat ice cream at Bohri Kadal

He promised me he would return.
So we could stay up till late at night telling stories

He promised me he would return.
Instead, came the night of horror.

He promised me he would return.
Instead, came his body in pieces

He promised me he would return.
Instead, came the boys that carried him to his grave

He promised me he would return.
Now, I wait at at my brothers grave wondering what will be my fate.”

–a young Kashmiri woman grieves the loss of her brother at the hands of the Indian Army

When we speak of internationalization of the Kashmir conflict, we do not mean government officials issuing wimpy-assed statements about ‘India & Pakistan resolving their long-standing territorial dispute over Kashmir’ & then carrying on business as usual with India. A few weeks ago & nearly three months after India’s fascistic siege in Kashmir had begun, Germany’s Angela Merkel made a three-day state visit to Modi where they signed agreements to fight terrorism in all its “forms & manifestations” as well as for cooperation in space research, agriculture, marine science, education & academic research, sports, cultural exchanges. She couldn’t do that in the middle of the siege without an obligatory statement about Kashmir so she said, “The situation now for the people (in Kashmir) is not good & not sustainable. This has to be improved for sure.” That’s really putting it to India on their genocide in Kashmir. But those trade deals talk louder than her ‘not good for sure’ thing.

Now the king & queen of Sweden are on a six-day state visit to India to nail down a multi-billion dollar trade deal, a defense deal for the the sale of 114 Swedish fighter jets to India, & several other deals for political, business, scientific & academic cooperation. To mitigate any censure of this venality, Sweden’s ambassador to India Klas Molin said, “The Kashmir issue is a long-standing one. We see it as emanating from a bilateral dispute & thus has to be resolved through dialogue between India & Pakistan. That is the EU’s position. The other main tenet is that Kashmiris should have a say in their own future.” Better than ‘not good for sure’ or just a more cynical version of it? When Putin met with Modi just one month into the siege of Kashmir to finalize a one-billion US dollar line of credit from India to Russia ‘for development of Russian’s Far East region’ (to bankroll the annexation of Crimea), Putin boasted of Russia’s support for India’s siege & of supplying the most modern weapon systems to India to suppress Kashmiris. Venal & cynical, yes. But not duplicitous & smarmy like Germany & Sweden.

Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India & Pakistan as Imran Khan as made eminently clear. It is an issue of Kashmiri freedom from Indian colonialism & occupation. This little Kashmiri girl is walking past a poster at a protest for those forcibly disappeared by India. The photo is from 2014 because protests in Kashmir are now banned. Keep this image in mind when you consider the ‘internationalization’ of Kashmiri freedom. The statements by governments, including the EU, are pathetic since they take no action, make no commitments, nor sanction India to defend the people of Kashmir.

(Photo from AFP)

The Israeli ambassador who wished Suu Kyi & the generals ‘good luck’ in dodging conviction for genocide is like the Indian consul general in NY who called for the ‘Israeli model’ in Kashmir. It’s not just that the two guys are morons & wash-outs as diplomats but that lies fall apart. Trying to pass off genocide as democracy takes more chicanery than mediocre minds can muster.