AVID Training
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In recent weeks, we within AVID have shared in collective grief for the lives lost, homes decimated, and families displaced on both sides of Israel and the occupied regions of Gaza and the West Bank.

AVID, essentially, is made of and made for oppressed and displaced people. Rooted in our lived experiences, we stand firm by the belief that the atrocity starting from October 7th shall never be understood without its historical context. We see the oppression endured by generations of Palestinians, from the Nakba in 1948 to the protracted illegal occupation, apartheid system, and settler-colonialism perpetrated by the Israeli state to this day. We recognise Britain’s historical role in the colonisation of Palestine, from issuing the Balfour Declaration in 1917 to the establishment of the British Mandate in 1918 and the continuing support for Israeli occupation and apartheid rule over Palestinians.

As we write this statement, more than 10000 Palestinians, including nearly 4000 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since October 7th. Each of these ten thousand and counting is not merely a statistic but a life with a past, a present, ambitions and shattered dreams. Millions endure forced displacement, deprived of the basic necessities of water, food, and electricity for agonizing weeks. Hospitals teeter on the edge of fuel depletion, and the relentless bombardment of healthcare facilities, schools, shelters, and homes persists without respite. International laws lie in ruins, and the spectre of further escalation looms ominously.

An undeniable catastrophe unfolds before us.

We demand more than just words of sympathy and condemnation. We urgently call on political leaders to prioritize human lives above all else and to lead their foreign policies with genuine humanity and integrity. We implore journalists to amplify the voices of those most severely impacted, giving them a platform to tell their stories. We call on each and every individual to educate themselves about the historical context in the region, use their platforms to speak out against this injustice, and mobilize within their means to collectively put an end to this ongoing horror.

We urgently call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a de-escalation in the occupied areas of the West Bank. For the long-lasting peace of both Israeli and Palestinian people, we call for a just and sustainable solution that honours Palestinians’ right to self-determination and upholds the aspirations of both peoples.

It is essential to recognize that the fight against oppression and displacement extends far beyond Palestine. In the UK, our commitment to justice extends to those facing immigration detention. On average every quarter, about nine people from the Occupied Palestinian Territories leave UK detention estate with virtually no prospect of removal. Their detention serves no purpose other than re-traumatizing them. The trauma of confinement, separation from loved ones, and uncertainty about the future is a shared experience for both Palestinians put under administrative detention by the state of Israel and individuals detained under immigration control by the Home Office in the UK.

An Urgent Plea to the UK Government

We call upon the UK government to provide immediate safe routes for people fleeing Gaza who seek refuge in the UK. We further demand an end to the detention of those seeking sanctuary on our shores. Human rights must be the cornerstone of our policies, ensuring that individuals are treated with the dignity, compassion, and respect they deserve.

May we all live in safety and dignity, free from fear, displacement, and oppression.

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