Queer Pride March Leiden: “We stand in solidarity with Ukrainian people”

This call for support and solidarity deserves an intersectional approach. This is our statement:

Amidst destruction and terror caused by Russian occupying forces, Ukranian people are bravely defending themselves and organizing internationally to stop the war and support those affected by it. People in Russia too are protesting against the war and are facing violent repression. We want to amplify their voices.

Our hopes for peace and liberation stand always and solely with the people and their revolutionary strength and compassion. This is why we will be sharing information about initiatives from Ukrainian activists, such as demonstrations and calls for financial support, in our stories. We will also do whatever possible within our collective to participate in any local mutual aid initiatives. Please, reach out and share with us information to spread in our queer network.

Without taking away from the urgency of speaking out about the war in Ukraine, we want to emphasize our stance against all imperialism, colonialism and occupation. We reject the rhetoric of “the just war” and “peace intervention” promoted by Western powers: war waged by the powerful only serves their profits, while it kills common people and destroys their land.

We condemn Putin’s actions as loudly as we support the liberation of Palestine, the end of US imperialist interventions in Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and all other lands, the right to self-determination of all Antillean people who remain under the yoke of Dutch colonialism. This list obviously continues. The only just war is the one waged by the oppressed for their liberation, and that we call revolution!

Although not surprised, we are devastated by clear displays of white supremacy, racism and xenophobia. Many Black people have reported not being permitted to cross the Ukrainian/Polish border the past few days, and at that same border thousands of refugees, many from the Middle East, have been left to die just weeks ago. In the end, the most marginalised people, such as BIPOC, women, queer, trans, disabled and working class people, are hit hardest in a war, which is important to emphasize in our call for solidarity. Solidarity and support must be shown to ALL refugees and ALL those affected by the invasion.

We want to distance ourselves from any showcase of performative solidarity, such as Eurovision’s decision to not allow Russia to participate in the next contest. By still allowing Israel to participate, their “morals” are clearly hypocritical. They are so because they serve profit, and not people’s lives. Solidarity cannot be selective or used to benefit your own image more than the people in need of help.

Liberation is a constant intersectional struggle. No invasion can be stopped without dismantling all forms of oppression and exploitation. Because discrimination pits us agaist one another, rendering us weak and divided. Only united we can win, and no one is truly free until everyone is free.

Queer Pride March Leiden

(This statement first appeared on Instagram.)