(Photo of Satyam Varma by Peggy Mohan)
From the Facebook wall of BDS India:
US based veteran activist Mary Scully had sent a solidarity message to the BDS India convention which was read out by Satyam Varma on behalf of the organisers.
#BoycottIsrael #BDSIndia #IndiansAgainstIsrael, #IndianWithPalestine #BDS
It is such an honor to express solidarity & forge bonds of unity with Palestinian solidarity activists in India. Palestinians stood alone for decades in their struggle against colonialism, marshaled unarmed against the mightiest military forces in the world. At last, the big battalions of active support are coming to their defense. Their intransigence is a beacon to suffering humanity so much like the struggles of Indians, Irish, & many other nationalities against English colonialism, & like the struggle of the Vietnamese against French colonialism & American militarism. The links & affinities are profound & teaching people in the Americas the brutal truths about our own past & present of colonizing Indigenous peoples.
Indian activists must well understand the power of boycott in opposing colonialism from their own historic experience. Perhaps less known is the role of international solidarity since study of those movements, at least in the US, has only been published in the last several years. There was active support from Irish & Irish-Americans because of their own familiarity with English colonialism. There were several solidarity groups formed by Indians in exile in the US & elsewhere. Indians traveled & lectured throughout the world explaining the struggle for Indian freedom & its importance to people around the world.
The Vietnamese had a regular & guerrilla military force experienced from decades of opposing French colonialism & US military might but they were no match for the power of the US Pentagon. The international antiwar movement of millions of people all over this globe was essential to their victory against the US & the Vietnamese leadership acknowledged the important role of solidarity in restraining the Pentagon in its military barbarisms–which were as unbridled as Israel against Palestinians.
The massive power of US militarism backing Israeli apartheid against unarmed Palestinian Intifada makes forging bonds of solidarity more imperative than ever. It not only advances self-determination & makes justice for Palestinians possible, but it breaks down the walls of isolation, racism, xenophobia, & suspicion that are fostered between peoples under capitalism as a means of social control. It helps create a new way for human beings around the world to relate to one another as brothers & sisters. It moves forward to that new day when solidarity is no longer a political imperative but has become the joyous birthright for children everywhere.
My fullest solidarity with your convention. Long live Intifada! Build BDS. Build BDS India.