Solidarity with the oppressed is unconditional. Period.

When activists speak of solidarity & unconditional support for the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, & everywhere else, that doesn’t mean we anoint them all as saints or think they don’t have social divisions & problems as great as our own societies. War & occupation aggravate these & by no means ameliorate social conflicts.

Every society has its tough guys, hustlers, petty & grand thieves; every political movement has its extremists, goofballs, & clueless hangers-on. These don’t determine or affect our solidarity one iota. We keep our eyes on those struggling to end oppression, occupation, & war by whatever means they deem necessary (even if we’re not always in full agreement with their methods)–& we keep our eyes on the children.

Solidarity doesn’t mean turning a blind eye & playing stupid; it means recognizing that military intervention is to control, not to manage social conflicts. It means trusting other peoples don’t need outside intervention to address their conflicts, that they’re capable of handling their own problems if they’re not being bombed to smithereens.

For political activists, the debates among occupied & persecuted peoples are of great interest because how they conduct their struggles have the ability to change the world or at least to affect our struggles against our own regimes. Those under fire have lots to teach the rest of us. It isn’t up to us to parse political distinctions in these countries & publicly excoriate those we think lacking so some can weasel their way out of solidarity. Solidarity with the oppressed is unconditional. Period. No caveats, no addenda, no ulterior motives. Only the recognition that solidarity is the iron law of social transformation.

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