We at Lausan stand in unwavering solidarity with the people of Kashmir, who have been fighting militarized Indian occupation for decades and for their rights to self-determination and autonomy as a people to be respected and observed. These rights are enshrined in international law and through UN resolutions, but continue to be trampled upon.
Today marks the one year anniversary in which the government of India unilaterally revoked the limited autonomy granted to Kashmir through Article 370 of the Indian Constitution as part of a long term, settler colonial project in the region that has violently oppressed its Indigenous peoples. Since August 5th, Kashmir has been cut-off from the world and plunged into a de facto communications blackout. The civil and political rights of its people have been stripped away and a massive presence of army, paramilitary, and police forces have suppressed any dissent. Public security forces commit mass atrocities with impunity due to legalized immunity from laws such as AFSPA and PSA.
The systematic oppression and dispossession of the Kashmiri people follow a broader trend of Islamophobic state violence and genocide committed against Muslim populations around the world, from Palestinians to Rohingya to Uyghurs—a state of affairs that has been exacerbated by truly global “war on terror” rhetoric.
We Hongkongers are also familiar with the broken promises of self-governance and autonomy that a “one country, two systems” constitutional model entails. As we face a national security law in our homeland that penalizes activists with life imprisonment for political dissent, we in the diaspora, like our Kashmiri friends and comrades, have a greater responsibility to speak up and speak out against injustice—and to lend our support and build power with others fighting against oppression and authoritarian violence.
Down with settler colonialism! Down with fascism! Down with Islamophobia!
Azadi for Kashmiris! Azadi for all oppressed peoples!