Black Lives Matter activist: Why we stand with Kashmir

[Linda Cheriyan, second from right]

An edited excerpt of Black Lives Matter activist Linda Cheriyan’s address at a vigil for Kashmir in Times Square, NYC, on September 27, 2019.


I’m from India.


India has a long history of oppressing their own people in quite the same way the United States has long-standing traditions of marginalizing communities of color.


In the US, Black and Brown people have had to deal with segregation in schools and public spaces, voter suppression, mass incarceration, separation of families and caging children in concentration camps, and domestic terrorism.


We see parallel human rights issues violated within India; the practices of ethnic cleansing to get rid of non-Hindus, Islamophobia, violating the rights of indigenous people by evicting them from their own homes, and disguised nationalism tops the list of their criminal activities.

Particularly, India has been terrorizing the victims of occupied-Kashmir for quite some time now. In recent months, we have witnessed how they have been treated to brutally.


The Hindu Nationalists continue to suppress freedom of speech, torture and sexually abuse people of Kashmir, and prevent them from practicing their faith including observing major holidays such as Eid.


Suspending internet access allowing the government to control the media.


This prevents our loved ones from contacting their loved ones in Kashmir.


Women’s rights are also continuously violated under his regime, fewer laws have been in place to actually help victims of domestic abuse and rape especially when these attacks comes from members of BJP even when its in front of law enforcement.


The profiling. The targeting. This is felt by our black brothers and sisters every day in the US. This is why we stand here today, united in the face of oppression.


This is why we stand here today because we are no longer just standing in solidarity; we are standing outside, resisting, protesting, divesting.

We must continue to shout with our voices, protest in the streets, and demand transformative change.


We must continue to hold all those in power accountable for the positions they take against humanity.


None of us are free until ALL of us are free.

Black Lives Matter.

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