24.02.2022 | Open Letter: Cultural Workers Against the Ongoing War in Ukraine
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We, cultural workers in Berlin and other places, raise our voices to state that we stand strong and firm with Ukraine. We protest against the ongoing and escalating Putin-led Russian aggression against the people living in Ukraine.
Putin's military invasion threatens millions of civilians, pensioners, care workers, children, and regular inhabitants. Russian aggression particularly targets the lives and health of political activists, the LGBTIQ+ community, cultural workers, journalists and other civilians as well as the exiled Belorussian opposition in Kyiv and in other Ukrainian cities. It targets us and our friends in order to destroy the tissue that keeps our communities connected and breathing.
Ukrainian territory has been violated by Russian aggression since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. The country has been pulled into a defensive war by Russia's incursion into Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, under the cover of so-called local separatist movements, beginning in 2014.
In these territories disappearances, kidnapping, torture and imprisonment reportedly take place. In previous moments of political destabilisation, like the Euromaidan uprisings in 2014 in Kyiv, cases of kidnapping and torture of journalists and activists have been documented.
Whoever has experienced the effect of this kind of repression through intimidation, torture and fear on our societies, like the Belorussian and Russian oppositional movements, knows: There is no invasion which is negotiable. There is no legitimation for repression and invasion. There is no degree of repression we can silently witness without being complicit.
We call on all our fellow cultural workers to raise their voices, to stretch their political empathy, to activate their political courage, to refresh their political memory and to stand up in support of our colleagues, friends, allies, and their (chosen) families.
As we stand together we work towards forming even stronger bonds and deeper alliances with each other. Let us, cultural workers, stand together, to put our weight on public opinion: We demand decisive and firm support of the people living in Ukraine.
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