It’s finally happened! After months of planning, re-planning, and sending ourselves back to the drawing board countless times, we are thrilled and proud to announce the official launch of the Punks Against Apartheid website and network.
Lots has happened since late June when we stumbled onto the scene asking Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine to cancel their show at Tel Aviv’s Barby Club. That campaign took on legs that even we ourselves didn’t anticipate it growing, which stunningly confirmed the world-wide support that the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is gaining against Israeli apartheid.
Some of the summer and fall’s events have been heartening; others discouraging. There’s been the crystallization of the Arab revolt, the diplomatic and legal wrangling over the season’s Freedom Flotilla, the debate over Palestinian recognition in the UN, the release of political prisoners from Israeli prisons, and the incredible, courageous initiation of the Palestinian Freedom Rides.
Likewise for the BDS and cultural boycott fronts. On one hand, there have been victories–the cancellation of Tuba Skinny’s appearance at the Red Sea Jazz Fest and Natacha Atlas’ own cancellation. There have also been setbacks, such as the decision of concert promoters to sue Lebanese BDS groups for their boycott of Placebo’s show in Beirut last summer.
What all of these point to, however, is that the struggle, as always, continues. Add into this mix the global Occupy movement (“Occupy Wall Street! Not Palestine!”) and we’ve got fertile ground for real, substantial cultural resistance–including the ongoing BDS campaign. We sincerely hope, brothers and sisters, that you’ll join us as we grow and continue to forge links between this movement and the global punk movement that we know and love so much.
As you browse the new-and-improved site, check out our new Points of Unity–which have already been endorsed by Propagandhi, Angelic Upstarts, Tanzila Ahmed, the Oppressed, Oi Polloi, the Shondes, Sabina England and others in the punk-activist community. Consider signing on yourself! And stay in touch for our upcoming campaign to convince Moldovan punkers Zdob si Zdub to cancel their own show in Tel Aviv that’s been rescheduled for March.
Spread the word, join us, and remember: racism ain’t punk, and apartheid deserves no entertainment. Viva le punk! Viva Palestina!