Saturday 26 October 2019

Brent Stop the War will join Kashmir protest outside Downing Street on Sunday

Brent Stop the War has issued the following clarification regarding Sunday's Kashmir demonstration:

A well-attended 14th October meeting on PEACE & JUSTICE FOR KASHMIR in the Community Hall at the Cricklewood Mosque, was co-sponsored by Brent Mosque and Brent Stop the War. It was supported by Brent Central Labour Party and Brent & Harrow Palestine Solidarity Campaign. 

We agreed to have the Brent Stop the War banner on the demonstration in support of Kashmir on this Sunday (October 27th) assembling outside Downing St from 12.00 noon. There has been some public controversy over this demonstration, its purpose and its destination.

Our meeting heard how the Modi government in India had withdrawn the (limited) autonomy of Kashmir and violently repressed the opposition, ignoring longstanding UN resolutions. It was also made clear that this is neither a Pakistan vs India dispute nor a Hindu/Muslim one, but the right of Kashmiris to self-determination and for a just and peaceful solution to the dispute.

Kashmiris have long protested on October 27th, the date the Indian military entered Kashmir in 1947. In the UK, this is marked with a protest each year outside the Indian High Commission.

With the Hindu festival of Diwali falling on Sunday 27th, some have expressed the view that it would be inappropriate to hold the demonstration. Other claims that the demonstration will cause communal conflict because it coincides with Diwali 2019, could be seen as promoting a view of the Indian High Commission as a Hindu institution, when in fact the Diwali religious festival is not exclusive to India and the country defines itself as secular.

Although It is perfectly normal in a democratic society to protest outside the embassy of a government which breaks international law, out of respect for the celebration of Diwali we will not be going on to the High Commission. 

We will join the protest outside 10 Downing St, which has raised no criticism of the actions of the Modi Government.

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