SWS: United Against All Wars. For an Intersectional and Global Solidarity
As an organization of intersectional feminist sociologists caring for international matters, SWS wholeheartedly supports the position statement and call for action developed by FG DeKolonial e.V. – association for antiracist, postcolonial, and decolonial thought and practice – regarding the Ukraine War, in recognition of the historical gendered dynamics of military conflict including the systematic use of sexual violence and revictimization of marginalized populations, and the multiple groups that have experienced genocide besides the ones mentioned below, like the Yazidi people in Northen Iraq and the Rohunga people in Myanmar:
United Against All Wars. For an Intersectional and Global Solidarity
UNITED AGAINST ALL WARS!
FOR AN INTERSECTIONAL AND GLOBAL SOLIDARITY
With the Russian government’s military attack on Ukraine, a new war has been raging since February 24, 2022, intensifying day by day, endangering millions of people and forcing them to seek refuge.
We stand in solidarity with the people who have to endure war, with those who have to flee, and with the courageous demonstrators in Russia and Belarus who, despite harsh restrictions and violent interventions, have not remained silent, and took to the streets to criticize their government’s decision to declare war on Ukraine.
The worldwide outcry that this war causes is indispensable. In addition to our unconditional solidarity with the people in Ukraine affected by this aggressive war, our solidarity is also with all those people who endure war but hardly ever receive such global media attention, and who are exposed to ongoing violence in the shadow of the current events, as is the case with the civilian populations in Tigray, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, but also with the Armenians in Artsakh, attacked by Azerbaijan, the Kurds in Afrin, bombed by Turkey, and the genocide-affected Uyghur population in China, whose right to life, and to self-determination is fundamentally under attack.
Following the multiple interventions by communities of color and antiracist initiatives, we too want to express our concern about the growing racist and racializing divisions. It is with great concern and deep sadness that we observe how especially Black people, Romani people, and Refugees of Color have to face racism and racial discrimination. We condemn how Black people, Romani people and People of Color who have fled the war in Ukraine are being treated at border controls: This is racial profiling!
Meanwhile, the construction of an illiberal and undemocratic „East“, in contrast to the image of a peace-loving West-European self-presentation, is reflected in newly inflamed anti-Slavic, anti-Russian and anti-Ukrainian hostility and discrimination in the everyday experiences of these people in the West, which urgently needs to be addressed from an antiracist perspective. The fact that people fleeing the Ukraine are imagined as „white“, and generalized and homogenized within a collective subjectivity, loses sight of various forms of racism and anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which many Ukrainians are also confronted with as Jews, Muslims and Romani people.
At the same time, People of Color are prevented from fleeing and structurally excluded from humanitarian aid, contrary to all pro-Ukrainian declarations of solidarity and debureaucratized EU refugee policies that insist on ‚humanity‘. This practice is supported by a racialized dichotomic policy which differentiates between ‚European neighbors in need of help‘ as legitimate refugees, and ’normal refugees‘, ‚illegal migrants‘ and stateless minorities, who for generations have been and still are part of the different countries – a narrative that increasingly appears these days in media coverages. In short, the colonial and racist structure of European migration and citizenship policies are once again manifesting themselves in well-known cruelty, as is particularly evident in the forced immobilization of refugees, and vulnerable groups in Libya and Afghanistan, for example.
On the macroeconomic level, the legitimization of militarization, and liberalization of the arms trade, from which German corporations particularly profit, is experiencing a new upswing. After years of international inaction against Russia’s policy of aggression against Ukraine, which already began with the annexation of the Crimea and the occupation of parts of the Donbass in 2014, the now hastily adopted sanctions will lead not only to the further impoverishment of a large part of the Russian population, but also to the precarization of already marginalized groups and states in the Global South. This underscores the need for a long-term global and postcolonial perspective on the current war in order to rethink policy instruments against wars with regard to their effectiveness and paradoxes. The global dimension of this war is all the more evident in the currently constructed scenario of a nuclear threat, and the politically and ecologically disastrous dependence on fossil fuels.
Imperialist wars must be clearly named as such – in this and all other cases – and analyzed and criticized by considering overlapping global asymmetries, in order to enable effective forms of solidarity and peace policy.
In this sense, our solidarity must be practical and intersectional. Much needs to be done to work towards the safety of Black people, Romani people and People of Color as they seek refuge – in the current conflict as well as in any other. Special attention must be paid to multiply-discriminated and particularly vulnerable groups, especially LGBTIQA+ communities, queer People of Color, Black and Romani people, Jewish and Muslim people living in Europe, and people with dis_abilities. Finally, it is important to keep in mind that fleeing the war, any war, also depends on gender. Cis men as well as trans* people are being conscripted into the military, and exposed to the traumas of war without any attention to their fundamental right to bodily integrity and sexual self-determination.
We stand for an intersectional solidarity that applies to all people in Ukraine, to all refugees, and all those fleeing from Ukraine, to all refugees from other violent conflicts in the world, and to all people and communities in Europe, and around the world whose daily experiences of violence do not receive international attention.
We oppose all wars, and we demand a global peace from which all people in the world as well as the environment can benefit, and in which all can prosper.
Solidarity must be intersectional and global!