StandWithKashmir (Atlanta) protest march
Protest to call attention to India's recent human rights abuses in Kashmir. Since August 5th, the entire Valley of Kashmir has been under a communications blackout (Internet, mobile, land lines, TV). The Indian military has imposed a continuous curfew on all civilians, and an additional 35,000 troops on top of existing 750,000 troops were deployed. Over 400 people including political, civic and business leaders have been arrested.The Indian government has also made moves to unilaterally change Kashmir's status ignoring international law.
Over the last 70 years, nuclear armed rivals India and Pakistan have fought 3 wars over the Kashmir dispute.
Atlanta Kashmiris, faith leaders, and solidarity groups will be rallying in downtown Atlanta on Saturday, August 10th to protest the Indian government’s forced removal of the territory’s semi-autonomous status within the Indian constitution. Protesters will reiterate Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and call for an end to the Indian occupation, the immediate restoration of mobile and landlines in the region, an end to the curfew, and the complete demilitarization of the region. The march will begin at Centennial Olympic Park near the Omni Hotel and end at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
WHO: Co-sponsors include: Stand with Kashmir, Atlanta Kashmiris, CAIR-GA, ICNA Council for Social Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace, Project South, Burmese Rohingya Community of Georgia
Background: In early August, the Indian government asked tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave Kashmir, citing fears of a potential terror attack in the region. It deployed tens of thousands of troops and imposed a state-wide curfew, placed leaders under house arrest, cut communications and shut down local media. As Kashmiris were locked up in their homes, Narendra Modi’s government announced on August 5, that it would revoke Article 370, a special clause in the Indian constitution that gave Kashmir the ability to make its own laws and have its own constitution. Kashmiris were neither consulted nor informed of the move, making the actions unconstitutional and illegal. Though India has eroded Kashmir’s semi-autonomy over the years, the removal of Article 370 is a brazen show of force and disregard for the political aspirations of Kashmiris who have been waiting for the right to self-determination since it was promised by UN Resolution 47 in 1948. It also paves the way for India to change the demographics in the valley.
Even prior to the developments this week, Kashmir has long been one of the flash points between nuclear armed India and Pakistan. Over 70,000 people have been killed since the armed rebellion began in 1989. Around 8,000 people have ‘disappeared’, and since 2016, more than 6,000 have suffered eye injuries from pellet guns, in what the New York Times called “an epidemic of dead eyes”.
We urge people of conscience to come out and show support and solidarity for the people of Kashmir, at a time in which authoritarianism and Islamophobia, are on the rise worldwide, be it in India, the United States or Europe. Come show your support for human rights, international law, and democracy.
Stand with Kashmir is a Kashmiri diaspora-led international solidarity movement that seeks to end the occupation and support the right to Kashmiri self-determination.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND/OR INTERVIEWS:
Media contact: Sameera Fazili, firstname.lastname@example.org, 716-390-6335