Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of eleven people this past weekend at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The mass shooting on October 27th is yet another reminder that none of our communities can be safe until all oppressed people are free from violence. We have been reminded of this all too frequently in recent and ongoing attacks on women, survivors of sexual assault, trans and gender non-conforming people, immigrants, and people of color. In the wake of these tragedies, it is crucial that we remain steadfast in our support of anti-fascist movements in the United States and internationally.
President Trump’s immediate response to the attack in Pittsburgh was predictably aligned with his fascist and militarized agenda: more guns and more policing. But we know that the police only bring more harm into our communities. We know that Trump has been instigating this exact kind of bigotry and terror since the day he set foot on the campaign trail. We also know that moments like this are used to further embolden Islamophobia and other forms of racism while white christian men continue to be the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of acts of violence. The response of Zionist institutions, backed by the U.S. government, has been to use this moment to further criminalize and vilify resistance to the state of Israel and the movement for a free Palestine. To this we say: not in our name. We will not allow our traumas to continue to be used as justification for the colonization of Palestine.
Our struggles are connected not just in principle, but in the reality that white supremacists target so many of our communities. In the same moment as white supremacist Robert Bowers murdered eleven Jews in the Tree of Life synagogue, white supremacist Gregory Bush murdered two Black elders in a grocery store after a failed attempt to break into a Black church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky; simultaneously the Israeli army carried out an air strike as part of its ongoing siege on Gaza killing three Palestinian teenagers, and the deaths continue to grow. These are lives lost in the context of the international rise in fascism we are seeing in places like the United States, Brazil, and Russia. Bowers targeted the synagogue in part because of his opposition to Jewish organizations supporting the resettlement of refugees in the United States. We continue to see evidence that jews, immigrants, refugees, and all people of color are seen as a threat to the security of a white christian nation. We must join together to resist white supremacy and fascism, care for and protect each other, and fight for our collective liberation!
The people lost this weekend have left families and legacies behind. We mourn their deaths, along with all victims of white supremacist violence here in these so called United States and the world over. May their memories be for a blessing.
Joyce Fienberg, age 75
Richard Gottfried, age 65
Jerry Rabinowitz, age 66
Cecil Rosenthal, age 59
David Rosenthal, age 54
Bernice Simon, age 84
Sylvan Simon, age 86
Daniel Stein, age 71
Melvin Waxn, age 88
Rose Malinger, age 97
Irving Younger, age 69
Khaled Bassam Mahmoud Abu Saeed, age 14
Abdul Hameed Mohammed Abdul Aziz Abu Zaher, age 13
Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullah al-Sutari, age 13
Maurice E Stallard, age 69
Vickie Lee Jones, age 67
Eliana, Erika, Jonah
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