Zo’n tweehonderd mensen hebben op zaterdag 22 mei geprotesteerd tegen de aanwezigheid van de neo-nazi’s van Voorpost en hun lhbtqia+ haat bij het Songfestival in Rotterdam. Er kwamen hooguit vijftien nazi’s opdraven en hun zielige, saaie protestje werd volledig overschaduwd door de inspirerende manifestatie van de Rainbow Coalition. We stonden met onze rug naar de nazi’s toe en gaven hen nauwelijks enige aandacht.
De prachtige toespraken van onze host Joana en de zeven andere queer sprekers trokken al onze aandacht. Het protest was in vijf (!) dagen uit de grond gestampt door de Rainbow Coalition die bestaat uit KONTRA Rotterdam, Expreszo, AFA Rotterdam, BIJ1, Rotterdam BIJ1, DWARS Rotterdam-Rijnmond, ROOD Rotterdam, Broodbuis, de Vrije Bond Rotterdam en Doorbraak. Een geweldige prestatie, die smaakt naar meer.
Hier een beeldreportage met enkele uitgeschreven speeches erbij.
De toespraak van Rebekka Timmer
De toespraak van Eddie Bannayan
Hi everyone. My name is Eddie Bannayan. My mother is Jordanian from the northwestern town of Madaba, very close to the West Bank. My father is from Jerusalem in neighbouring Palestine, I was born and raised in Amman, the capital city of Jordan and I am an out and proud queer Arab. Being able to say that sentence alone, in front of an audience of people, sends shivers down my spine. This is the first time I’ve ever shared part of my journey publicly – so forgive me if I’m a bit all over the place. You must understand, it’s almost impossible to speak about queer pride to an Arab audience, and WOW is it hard to display your pride in your heritage in front of non-Arabs.
I just want to preface my story by saying I consider myself to be extremely privileged. I am extremely privileged that I have at least some members of my close family be accepting of who I am, I am privileged that I had the opportunity to leave Amman and grow into my pride as a queer person. I grew up very sheltered, the LGBTQ+ community felt so distant to me, the thought of being gay was never even entertained until I was a teenager, where just the thought of that took a toll on my mental health. That was until the day before we started the 11th grade; my best friend comes out to me as bisexual. In a rush of emotions, I spontaneously came out to him – I thought, if he were brave enough to do it, I will be too. From then on we’d have hours upon hours of conversation about being queer in the Middle East. We would dream of a Queer Arab space, a place where we can express both our cultural and sexual identities simultaneously. A place where we are not villainised purely for our ethnicity and culture, where we didn’t have to whitewash ourselves to feel queer.
And back to the point of privilege, I say this with the heaviest heart and the greatest pain in my chest, but I sadly feel really privileged that my family left Palestine when they did. Had they not, I honestly have no idea if I would be standing here with all of you today.
My father was born in Jerusalem in 1968, just a year after the 6 day war, and left to Jordan at the age of 7. As you know, should a Palestinian leave the country, they have no right to return. My family has no right to return and live freely in their country; roam their streets; dine in their favourite restaurants; it’s all gone, thinking of that tears me to shreds every time, because I dream of one day visiting my country. My hope is that my story helps humanise queer Palestinian people. We are a resilient community, thriving in secret. To be honest with you, I haven’t allowed myself to cry about this yet because, again, I’m privileged, I grew up in Jordan safe and sound – and if I were to cry every time I saw a chunk of our land being blown by a missile, who will speak up? It’s my responsibility to fight for my father, my aunt, my grandparents, and generations before them who lived on Palestinian land. But let me tell you, I really fucking need that time to cry, so if you are non-Arab, I beg of you to please speak up, please use your voices and your platforms and please let us mourn the people of our country. Silence is violence. We will not accept white queer people preaching intersectionality while dipping their carrots in our hummus and making falafel for their veggie diets while staying silent about our country being obliterated by a colonial superpower. We will not and will never tolerate it. The queer Palestinian community has never and will never sit here and allow non-Arab queer people to weaponise our pain against us, to justify the pain of our people through the pink washed Israeli lens. We will not sit here and tolerate white queer people bragging about how they’re “illegal in 74 countries” when they’re not the ones being affected by queerphobia in our countries — activism is not transactional, we are not undermining the struggle of queer people around the world, but do NOT use us to exacerbate your own oppression.
To all the incredible non-Arab queer people (which i’m sure there are a lot of you here) who have been fighting for us, using their platforms, educating themselves, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m so glad I get to finally see the support on such a large scale. Because of your support, I and so many other queer palestinians finally feel like we can share our pride in our entire identities in the same breath. Thank you all for having me, have a wonderful rest of your day and FREE PALESTINE!
De toespraak van Marty Colo
Our freedom as LGBTQ+ people depends upon us; I need you to keep repeating that. Our freedom won’t come as a concession from the authorities. It won’t come a result of negotiations with our enemies. Because freedom can’t be compromised. So we must continually struggle AGAINST our oppressors; AGAINST Nazi-fascism; AGAINST any socio-political and economic system that boasts gay-friendliness while allowing hatred and violence to spread and threaten our survival.
And so we say no to compromised freedom, and yes to resistance.
Voorpost said “defend our families from gender madness”, or “Eurovision is too gay”. We know it’s an excuse to perpetrate acts of aggression. Nazi-fascism has a clear objective in mind: to exterminate any community that isn’t white, cishet, toxically masculine, and patriarchal. In this sense there is no other way to be queer if not being anti-fascist. In this sense there is no other way to be antifascist without being – not just in favor of – but actively striving for queer liberation. This is the profound meaning of solidary: understanding that our struggles are deeply intertwined and so we must stand united.
And so we say no to single-issue struggles, and yes to solidarity.
We are told that the Netherlands is a very gay-friendly country. Yet I see my queer folx being denied mental care, and I see my queer migrant folx being sent back to their countries to be murdered. Yet I see Nazi-fascism thriving in this country. As a matter of fact, there more than one Nazi-fascist political parties in the Netherlands. As a matter of fact, Nazi-fascist groups led by university teachers recruit students in Leiden University. As a matter of fact, every time there’s a Nazi-fascist demo I wonder why the police doesn’t stop it with coercion and violence, as they do so whenever WE don’t bend to their authority. So fuck your gay-friendliness, because it isn’t real if it doesn’t come with a true commitment towards liberation of all queer people and anti-fascism.
And so we say no to gay-friendliness, and yes to true liberation.
So our freedom depends upon us. When we struggle for our freedom, we want much more than mere survival, and tokenistic inclusion. Actually, we mustn’t wish to be included into any queerphobic institutions; but also into any space that puts profit before human beings, that perpetrates ecological destruction, that guns down our black brothers and sisters, that rapes women, and so on. Corporations, the police, even marriage. Even Eurovision, which evidently tolerates apartheid. Even entire economies and political regimes; the Netherlands too, which is a tax haven and a colonizer. I don’t care, we can’t accept to be assimilated into anything that was designed to violate the rights of people and nature. Because any form of abuse is an abuse of the queer community, and oppressions reinforce one another. Institutions like these ought to be dismantled, as we ought to dismantle Nazi-fascist groups and their abusive ideologies.
And so we say no to assimilation, and yes to dismantling all forms of oppression.
Resisting toward liberation is a revolutionary act, one that must be carried on together day after day, until our freedom is fully achieved. So join the resistance, join any other group that struggles for the solidarity among and liberation of all oppressed communities: #Voor14, Rainbow Coalition, Doorbraak.
Our freedom depends upon us. And so we say yes to queer antifascism and yes to liberation for all.
De toespraak van Bo
My name is Bo – and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I was willing to give my real name, because the main reason that we are here today is a bunch of Nazis who are “demonstrating” against our rights. A bunch of Nazis who enjoy the privilege to walk around the Netherlands without a care in the world, because the police will not stop them when they harm us. Those same police that, four years ago, allowed the Nazi group Roze Leeuw to walk in Pride and attack us. The police, who have racist group chats here IN ROTTERDAM to spew hate on “minorities,” will not stop them when they decide to organise hateful and violent demonstrations.
Demonstrations they feel they have to organise because they are afraid of us. Afraid because we are shouting. I am here today as a Black Queer Non-binary person of Jewish descent, risking my safety to speak up because that is something these Nazis especially hate. I am here to show these fucking Nazis that we are NOT the ones that are afraid; but most importantly, I am standing here to show the baby queers, the queers in the closet, the queers that live in abusive households where they cannot be themselves, and all of the queers that cannot speak up: it is okay to be who you are, and it is okay to be your own true fucking self.
Queer Lives Matter! Black Queer Lives Matter! Queer Disabled Lives Matter!
De toespraak van Hêja
I’m gonna be very honest with y’all, i am fuckin’ tired. I am angry and I am fucking tired. Tired that the Dutch government continues to prioritize bigots, nazis and oppression over the lives of queer people, over the lives of black and brown people. But I cannot say I am very surprised at all.
I was born and raised in this city, specifically in Crooswijk. A child born to a wonderful mother, a Kurdish woman who was forced to flee her ancestral land. A father who was ready to give his life for liberation. Growing up Kurdish, growing up lower class, growing up a second generation immigrant, queer and growing up trans. All these things made me become very familiar with oppression, with the effects of white supremacy before I could even understand what any of it meant.
For a long time I didn’t know where to place those feelings; the frustration, the pain and more importantly the anger I held towards the world. Now I know where to place it and now i’m angrier than ever.
Angry that its white men in fancy suits sitting in cities built on the backs of slaves that decide if we are worthy enough to be deemed human.
Angry that bipoc need to keep quiet about their suffering because well “je bent niet gezellig, doe eens normaal”.
Angry that the lives of my black brothers and sisters were nothing more than a debate topic in schools.
Angry my trans sisters leave their homes wondering if they’ll make it back today, if they’ll be attacked or worse.
Angry people I’ve lost people, murdered, blown to fucking bits fighting for liberation
I am fine with being labeled the angry immigrant. “The angry one”. I don’t expect people who’ve been living in their white privilege to expect the pain I feel for not just my people, not just my community but for the marginalized acrossed the world. I don’t expect y’all to understand that this rage comes from a place of heartbreak, from mourning, from being tired of waking up and seeing more of my people dead, black trans women and femmes just another statistic long forgotten, brown and black people just another passing headline. Indigenous lands destroyed. Yes, I am angry but more importantly; why aren’t you?
White supremacy is not something that appeared out of thin air. Its the thing that formed the world as we know it. It rears its ugly head in the form of transphobia. in the form of anti-blackness, anti-indigenous sentiment, in the form or sinterklaas and the toeslagenaffaire and more. Its a virus, a parasite and we need it gone.
I was asked what queer revolution meant to me, how it could be achieved. There is one way; the complete destruction of white supremacy; of capitalism. to destroy these systems rigged against those of us who do not fit within it; those who are not white, are not cis, not heterosexual.
We’ve been fed the lie that if we work hard enough we’ll make it, we’ll be an equal to those up top. We’re forced to exploit ourselves for a system that never wanted and never will want us to take a seat at the table. So I say, fuck the table. I will build my own. You cannot “fix” a system that was never meant to include you. I know a lot of you have good intentions but frankly youre naive if you think that under capitalism, under white supremacy; you’ll ever have a fucking chance.
Never have marginalized people received rights by nicely asking for it. It’s always been a fight and it’ll always be a fight, one I’m prepared to fight for the liberation of the people. They can tokenize us, try to distract us by their lies, by their “attempts” to diversity. But at the end of the day it doesn’t mean shit when we are not free. When so many of us still wake up wondering if they’ll survive the year, the month, the day; without any trouble. It is better to die fighting for freedom than to live as a prisoner. And until we are all free from this wretched bullshit, none of us are free.
In the western world we are told to focus on the individual, there is no sense of community and it is for a very good reason. They want us estranged from one another because when we are together, thats when we get shit done. Yes, we will be condemned, we will be demonized like those before us; like the Black Panthers, the Kurdish revolutionairies, like the thousands of indigenous culturez fighting colonialism, like the Sylvia Rivera’s and Marsha P Johnsons of the world.
But we have to fight, for a better future, for a better world. We cannot let them win. There is no space for bigotry, for nazi’s. We are stronger together, don’t forget that. There will always be people there to silence us, to protect their positions of power. They can try all they want but I don’t know about y’all but I am not going anywhere. I will give my life fighting for what is right, to destroy these systems of oppression. Until we are all free, none of us are free
Fuck Mark Rutte, fuck the Dutch state!
De toespraak van Connor Schumacher
De toespraak van Yamuna Forzani