December 17, 2016

Dear Talib Kweli,

We, Palestinian performing arts groups, cultural organizations and human rights campaigns, have recently learned of the cancellation of your December 13 show in Leipzig, Germany because of your support for Palestinian human rights. We regret to hear about this repressive and anti-democratic measure against you for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom and justice and for standing against Israeli violations of international law.

We wanted to thank you for all your support for Palestinian rights over the years. We have heard you consistently use your platform to publicly call for freedom for Palestinians.

As Palestinian cultural institutions we were deeply grateful to you for respecting the Palestinian picket line and not performing in Tel Aviv in 2014. Performing in Tel Aviv today is the equivalent of playing Sun City in the 1980s–an act of cultural complicity in covering up Israel’s system of occupation and apartheid.

Given Israel’s increased attacks on the Palestinian cultural milieu, ranging from denial of travel, obstruction of the right to movement, systematic arrests of cultural workers, shutting down theaters and cultural spaces, and suppression of Palestinian cultural production, it is both concerning and telling to see similar repressive tactics exported to Germany, France and elsewhere.

Israel and supporters of its system of injustice are engaging in censorship and McCarthyite suppression of freedom of expression enacted against supporters of the Palestinian struggle.

Our partners in Germany plan to respond to the propaganda claims made by the venue and are mobilising opposition to the venue for their hateful stance. If there is anything else that you think we can do to support your case, please let us know.

Once again, we salute your speaking truth to power and we are confident that we shall overcome and justice will prevail.

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