For those of us – and we are legion – committed to standing in solidarity with Palestinian resistance and struggle for liberation, the threat and weight of censorship are pervasive. Since October 7th, the world has witnessed horrifying levels of colonial and genocidal violence towards the Palestinian people in Gaza, aided and abetted by Western governments and leaders. Settler colonial violence has also risen in the occupied West Bank with hundreds of Palestinians attacked and forcibly displaced. In the imperial metropole and beyond, those taking a principled stance against the genocide in Gaza have been subjected to unprecedented levels of silencing, suppression, doxxing and intimidation – they have lost jobs and had their work visas revoked, they have been criminalised and stripped of their basic rights, from privacy to due process. Some have had their names etched into bombs headed for Gaza.
I was sent this image by a member of my family in Israel. He was delighted that an IDF soldier has written my name on a missile to be dropped on people in Gaza - all because I am a Jew who wants every human being to be free from the river to the sea. pic.twitter.com/R5kKvZBiDW— Barnaby Raine (@BarnabyRaine) November 13, 2023
While fascists inscribe their hatred into the iron-casing of genocidal tools and weapons of mass destruction, dropping bomb-letters on the people of Gaza, we are carving out this space for letters of truth and love instead: love for justice and peace, for all humanity that has committed to ending settler colonial violence in Palestine and elsewhere, and that has been met with hate disguised and obfuscated in the language of freedom and rights, for some, at the expense of the rest.
As such, the Verso Blog is soliciting testimonies from individuals or organisations who have faced censorship, punishment or any other forms of discrimination in their workplaces, campuses and communities for expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian people. We are also soliciting wider submissions from Palestinians in Palestine and abroad, regarding their experiences and any narratives they wish to share. The aim is to provide a space for expression that has otherwise been curtailed by mainstream media outlets, and to document the wide scale of censorship, harassment, bullying and intimidation and flagrant hate-speech taking place across various industries and spaces.
We welcome public testimonies, but we are committed to upholding the strict anonymity of submissions if authors should so wish. There is no minimum or maximum length for the submissions, which can be sent to this secure email at email@example.com. This email is monitored by three editors, who will anonymise then publish testimonies with a larger group of volunteer editors from across the culture, legal, creative and educational industries and with the support of Blog editors at Verso.
Dr. Hannah Elsisi, Dr. Ayça Çubukçu, Francesco Anselmetti