A collective known as Musicians For Palestine have signed an open letter calling for “an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid in Gaza”. Over four-thousand bands and artists are signatories and supporters of the cause – including Rage Against The Machine‘s Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello, Kid Cudi, Denzel Curry, Fontaines D.C., Bikini Kill, System Of A Down‘s Serj Tankian and Mogwai.
“This is a moment of truth for millions worldwide who prize human dignity, and as musicians we are no exception,” the letter reads. “We stand for life, for love, for justice, and for peace. We mourn with all in Palestine [and] Israel who have lost loved ones. We share their grief and their pain.
“We cannot be neutral in the face of such injustice… our vision of a just and peaceful future for all must be our most urgent task. We urge everyone who shares that vision to join us.”
“We stand for life, for love, for justice, and for peace”
Others that have put their support behind Musicians For Palestine include Lucy Dacus of boygenius, Sleater-Kinney, Pulp, Kehlani, Gossip‘s Beth Ditto and Mykki Blanco. The letter can be read in full here, with musicians at all levels encouraged to add their signatures here. The full list of signatories can be viewed here.
The campaign has gained considerable traction within the global music community over the last several weeks as the death toll in Gaza has continued to increase. The Guardian reported yesterday that the Israeli state had brokered a deal with Hamas for each side to release women and children being held hostage. A four-day ceasefire will take place simultaneously. It is expected to happen later this week.
Several musicians and bands have used their platform to advocate for the people of Palestine since Israel’s bombardment began in early October. UK Afro-jazz trio The Comet Is Coming cancelled what was to be their last ever show “in solidarity with the global call to strike by our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are in the midst of a genocidal assault.” The band’s final statement as a group was to call for “immediate ceasefire, an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and routine violence against the Palestinian people.”
Rapper Redveil used his set at Tyler, The Creator‘s Camp Flog Gnaw festival earlier this month to show a list of names of children that had been killed in Gaza on the video screen behind him. “Nobody on this fucking list made it to the age of four – not one,” he said to the audience, before leading them in a chant of “Free Palestine”.
At last week’s ARIA Awards, Genesis Owusu spoke about the violence in Gaza when accepting his trophy for Album of the Year. “We should be putting our minds, hearts and bodies behind to stop it at any junction that we can,” he said. “And with that being said, ceasefire now, ceasefire now, ceasefire now. Free Palestine.”