April 9 2020 GM

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During this Glitter Meetup, we discussed the political and human rights news related to COVI-19 and racism:

  • In Malaysia, racism was happening ages ago, and now even more. People are hating Malay Muslim because they created more COVID-19 cases dur to the Tabligh gathering. There’s racism too against Chinese people just for the simple fact of China being the place where the virus started.
  • In India, there’s a big racist campaign against Indian Mulsims, trying to relate them to the spread of the Coronavirus. Equality Labs and other organizations and individuals, where talking twitter actions during the day with the hashtag #StopCOVIDIslamophobia.

The context of this COVID-19 Islamophobia is the next:

  • Hindu nationalists are running the country right now. Its the equivalent of having neo-nazis run the government here. They are very horrible against groups that are not hindu (India has tons of religions, with islam being one of the minority religions)
  • They also have troll farms that harass people on social media platforms. For example, the Dalit community in our space has for years begging twitter and facebook to fix moderation, because their people are not only harassed but also experience violence because of the twitter /facebook comments (it incites violence
  • In recent days, the nationalists have been making #Coronajihad and Islamophobic viral. This has incited violence agianst muslims in the country. they have been spreading misinformation, that spans from muslims spreading the virus on purpose to being unhygenic etc. I meana all sorts of misnfromation and hatred

We saw that the pandemic is a good time for governments to try to divide us:

  • The act of dividing potential allies and communities who could come together to rise up is one of the oldest and most infuriatingly effective tricks in the book.
  • Too often social justice movements have splintered as a result of not being prepared to counter such moves.
  • A key tool for countering such tactics is learning from the stories of how previous organizations and coalitions have avoided the pitfalls of divide and conquer.
  • Now more than ever, social movements throughout the world have to unite and create solidarity. Nation states will try to cause more, divide us, etc.
  • We can learn from black americans history in the USA: They used racism/ us vs them/ to divide people and better control/conquer.”

Understanding and resisting divide and conquer tactics: https://aorta.coop/portfolio_page/understanding-and-resisting-divide-and-conquer-tactics/