Veteran civil rights and #BlackLivesMatter campaigner Professor Angela Davis has given a video statement about the need for increased solidarity with the #DalitLivesMatter movement.
The statement can be viewed on YouTube and as a text transcription below:
Transcription of Professor Angela Davis statement (uploaded on 27th October 2020)
Greetings. It is a major honor to be able to participate in this press conference highlighting the need for solidarity between Dalit people in India and black people in the U.S., in conjunction with the campaign protesting the sexual assault and murder of a young Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh and, of course, the many victims of violence enabled and condoned by the State.
As Dalit activists and intellectuals have pointed out, the history of making connections between our two communities stretches back to the 19th century when most U.S. black people were enslaved. We deeply appreciate the solidarity that has been generated on so many occasions by Dalit activists. However, we must also be critical, self-critical, of our own failure to produce meaningful and transformative solidarity with Dalit people.
Most recently, Dalit feminists have on several occasions made passionate calls for solidarity, especially with their efforts to resist the interminable assaults, particularly assaults involving sexual violence, against Dalit women. And so, we salute those who are standing up to resist casteism and patriarchy, capitalism.
As we here in the United States attempt to move forward in our struggles against structural racism, and state and vigilante violence, we thank you for your solidarity and recognize that it is our responsibility to join you. We need to express our rage against racial, sexual and caste-based violence in India, and we need to demand justice for the victims, the survivors, and their families.
This is a time when the world is beginning to rise together to demand justice for those who are targeted by white supremacists and casteists. Therefore, we stand with those who are issuing a global cry for an end to racism and who not only say black lives matter but also Dalit lives matter and Muslim lives matter.
We protest the consolidation of casteist and fundamentalist religious forces against Dalits in the service of a fascist state, where a violent form of hindutva is deployed in order to bolster capitalism.
We express our deepest condolences to the family and community of the young victim of rape and murder in Uttar Pradesh. We further join those who are demanding an end to all forms of caste based and state violence in India.