British acting giant Olivia Colman and ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘Derry Girls’ star Nicola Coughlan are among the 1000 artists who have signed a petition slamming Western institutions for aiding and abetting the “repressing, silencing and stigmatising of Palestinian voices and perspectives.” The letter includes signatures from ‘Sex Education’ star Aimee Lou Wood and multiple Emmy-award winner Harriet Walter.

“This includes targeting and threatening the livelihoods of artists and arts workers who express solidarity with Palestinians, as well as cancelling performances, screenings, talks, exhibitions and book launches.”

The letter shed light on the ongoing genocide of Gaza, where the death toll has crossed 15,000 civilian lives, with members of the Israeli government now openly calling for ethnic cleansing, and using starvation as a war weapon.

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“The wholesale destruction of civilian infrastructure, the bombing of hospitals, schools, churches and mosques, the killing of 14,500 people in a matter of weeks, amount to a policy of collective punishment against the Palestinian people. The United Nations and hundreds of legal scholars have called on the international community to prevent genocide.”

The letter then proceeded to criticise the ongoing censorship and repression of voices, including Susan Sarandon, who was dropped by her agency, and actor Melissa Barrera, who was fired from the ‘Scream’ series for her vocal pro-Palestine posts.

“As artists and cultural workers,” the petition points out, “we stand in solidarity with those facing threats and intimidation in the workplace. The arts sector must urgently align its actions with its stated values of justice and inclusivity, and to refuse the dehumanisation of Palestinian people.”

The petition states that for artists to stay silent in the face of mass injustice and humanitarian crisis “would be an abrogation of moral duty”. It also pointed out that more artists are refusing to work with those institutions that are complicit in this heinous act.

The petition also shared four demands from the signatories which were:

– Publicly demand a permanent ceasefire.
– Promote and amplify the voices of Palestinian artists, writers, and thinkers.
– Stand up for artists and workers who voice their support for Palestinian rights.
– Refuse collaborations with institutions or bodies that are complicit in severe human rights violations.