11 November 2023
In line with AUE’s long history of support for the Palestinian peoples’ right to self- determination, and in answer to the call from Palestinian Trade Unions for renewed support from the international labour movement, AUE reaffirms our solidarity with Palestine.
Following the labour movement’s values of justice, solidarity and peace, we are appalled by the violence against Israeli and Palestinian civilians. We grieve the many lives lost and join the international call for an immediate ceasefire.
AUE condemns the brutal killings of Israeli civilians by Hamas on 7 October, and we continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
AUE condemns the Israeli State's practice of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, which has included the brutal killings of over ten thousand Palestinians in Gaza, many of whom are children, through the bombing of civilian infrastructure as well as the illegal and inhumane blockade of water, food and fuel. We condemn the rising violence in the West Bank, including the killing and continued displacement of Palestinians, as well as the rise in arbitrary detentions across Israel and the West Bank.
We call on the British Government and opposition to support the UN call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and an end to the blockade in Gaza as an urgent first step in securing justice and peace for the people of Palestine and Israel.
There is no place for any form of discrimination in a labour movement, and we collectively stand against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in all their forms.
Our trade union rejects the Government’s misrepresentation of peaceful protests and recognises the dangerous role it plays in stoking fear and friction across our communities. We condemn the Government’s attempts to suppress the democratic right to freedom of assembly of those calling for an immediate ceasefire. The union movement can never accept political restrictions on the right to protest, which is fundamental to democracy.
As the trade union for artists in England, we oppose and object to any censoring of artists and art workers who express support for Palestine. We stand in solidarity with all artists and art workers, including Emily Jacir and David Velasco amongst others, who have been punished for vocalising support for Palestinians through lost work, censorship or threats.
We express our full support for the urgent request from trade unions in Palestine, calling for the global trade union movement and workers to mobilise, by refusing to build or transport weapons for Israel, and for all people of conscience to end our collective complicity in the illegal actions of the Israeli state through the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
As unionised artists, we recognise that ‘culturewashing’ has a significant role to play in maintaining the possibility of the Israeli State’s oppression of the Palestinian people. We support our members in acting on the demands of PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel), which includes an active boycott of the Zabludowicz Art Trust.
We support and work with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and we will continue to mobilise members of our union with other arts and culture workers in supporting a ceasefire and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
Our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones across Palestine and Israel, as well as Jewish, Muslim, Palestinian and Arab communities globally and in Britain who continue to be pained and impacted by this crisis, and to feel its reverberations.
In solidarity for a just peace and liberation for all.
Artists’ Union England