The struggle of a people is not defined by the crimes against them but by the strength with which they stand up against all odds and fight. Our bond with their struggle is not drawn by blood or heritage but by our humanity and our natural instinct to create a better world, however suppressed that instinct may be. Our idea of peace isn’t drawn by individuals but by a universal idea of a world without war, injustice and tyranny but so many people still choose to ignore the fact that though we may be physically detached from the struggle, it will always be one.
I speak out for Palestine and in the eyes of many around me that defines a huge part of who I am, yet my bloodline ties me to Kashmir, another place of pain where my heart is deeply embedded and whose pain is clearly echoed through my words. I write about Iraq, I know of Burma and the struggle of the Latin Americans too. Afghanistan’s women, children and men clearly display the strength which I try so hard to resonate in my words, so that you hear them too. The children of Africa’s plight cannot be ignored and though in many cases their stories are abused and their land is raped for capitalist gain their pain still speaks volumes and their plight is also ours.
Peace is a concept that has been fought for centuries before I set foot on this path and if nobody had stood before me, before us, then many more people today, would be facing injustice. Wherever good people remain silent evil prevails and that shouldn’t be a risk that we are willing to take because it only proves that we are willing to forsake the lives of future generations to live in comfort and accept a lie. It shows that another’s children are of less importance than ours, but how can we ensure that the tables will not turn and that those children will not one day be ours? In my eyes they always have been and always will be ours.
If a child in a Brazilian Favela was asked whether he would rather fight for an education and a right to life, than live a life of crime and hardship in his Favela, what do you think that he would say? He would want a chance, he would want to be able to earn for his family and help them to progress. Help his people to remove them from the life they were forced into by an unfair and unjust system. If he cannot do that for himself then why is it that we human beings, who can speak for him, who can act on his behalf and work together to give him that opportunity, without placing ourselves in any comparable danger, don’t act?
See this concept is not abstract, nor is it possible to be detached just because physically we are not in their shoes. That is only a weak attempt at justifying our own wrongs and allowing ourselves to believe that what we are doing is in some way just but it is far from that, in fact it is quite the opposite.
My work as an “activist” is really my responsibility as a human being. That’s our responsibility. It’s our collective action in response to the cry for justice of our people all over the globe. Our work is not easy and our job is far from over, but from within the belly of the beast our role in the struggle is very important.
Keep doing what you are doing, whether you are writing, shouting, standing in front of tanks or singing about the struggle. Every piece of our intifada is connected, every action for the good of another plays a part in our quest for justice and I want to thank everybody who continues to fight every single day regardless of the outcome or the implications because in their hearts they believe that justice will come.
Without each other we are nothing. So even in my silence I am with you, for my spirit will always be bound to this struggle and my heart will always be with our people.
I will cry their tears so that someday they can smile.