New York, NY: Kashmiris in the diaspora, South Asian allies, faith leaders and solidarity groups will gather outside the United Nations headquarters on Friday, September 27, 2019 to protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing blockade and human rights violations in Kashmir. PM Modi is expected to speak at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly that day.
The organizers, who are represented by a broad-based coalition of groups under the banner of “Friends of Kashmir,” expect more than ten thousand people at the protest, given the unprecedented solidarity from groups both nationally and globally since the Indian government’s decision on August 5 to strip Kashmir of its autonomous status. In a brazen move to ethnically cleanse the region, over 7 million people in Kashmir have been under siege. The Indian government has imposed a communications blackout in the region, disconnecting telephone and internet services, shutting down local media, restricting the movement of residents, arresting and detaining at least 3,000 people, some as young as 11 years old, and militarizing entire neighbourhoods.
WHO: Friends of Kashmir, a broad-based coalition of Kashmiri, South Asian, faith based, and solidarity groups
WHAT: Protest against Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist government as well as demand to end the occupation of Kashmir and for right to Kashmiri self-determination.
WHEN: Friday, September 27th, 10AM – 2PM EST
WHERE: Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
East 47th Street between UN Plaza & 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10017
Protesters will reiterate Kashmiris’ right to self determination as promised by UN Resolution 47 and call for an end to the Indian occupation, the immediate restoration of communication, an end to human rights violations, and the complete demilitarization of the region.
To date, between 70,000-100,000 people have been killed, 10,000 have disappeared, countless Kashmiri women have been raped, more than 6,000 are believed to have been killed and buried in unmarked graves, and more than 80,000 children have been orphaned in occupied Kashmir. These large scale human rights abuses by Indian occupation forces have gone unpunished.
The protestors join a growing body of organizations and individuals who are condemning the slide towards authoritarianism, the rise of Hindu-nationalism, and the persecution of minorities, including Muslims, Christians and dalits, in India. Protestors are expected to come from all across NYC as well as over 10 cities throughout the East Coast.
A growing number of American politicians, including Bernie Sanders, Beto O’ Rourke, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Andy Levin, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Rashid Tlaib and Rep Don Beyer also issued statements expressing concern about the situation in Kashmir.
PM Modi is expected to be in the U.S. for a number of events, including the “Howdy Modi” event in Houston, TX on September 22, where he will speak to his supporters.