Report : Geert Cool
The Tamil Solidarity campaign has been active in Belgium for more than a year. We have been participating in various campaigning activities and protests in Belgium. The first Tamil Solidarity Socialism Day comprised political discussions and social activity, organised by the members along with members of Linkse Socialistische Partij (LSP) / Parti Socialiste de Lutte (PSL).
The day began with a public meeting on the struggle of Tamil-speaking people in Sri Lanka and in the diaspora. The meeting had three speakers: Geert Cool (for LSP), Tanja Niemeier (who works for the GUE/NGL left group of MEPs in the European Parliament) and TU Senan (international coordinator of Tamil Solidarity).
The meeting made clear that in our struggle against oppression we have to work with all the oppressed people around the world and organise a joint fight. It is this international community – the majority of oppressed people – that will be the key to obtaining any real change. For the Tamil diaspora this also means building links with the organised working class in the countries where we live. In that sense the ‘Tamil Socialism Day’ was important: it united Tamil-speaking people with Belgian activists.
After the meeting a tasty meal prepared by a team of Tamil activists led by Pradeep was provided. They gave the Belgian activists a taste of the real Jaffna-style food. The evening programme also included music, dance and information. There was traditional music, French rap, a drama by young Tamils, dance by young children and dance music. In between we sang the ‘Internationale’, the traditional song of internationalism, solidarity and workers’ struggle. A young Tamil activist also explained the background of the situation in Sri Lanka. An appeal for participation in an anti-racist demonstration in Leuven on 15 March was made.
During the evening more than 60 were present. We plan to make this a yearly event. The discussion on how to continue our fight for liberation and for a better future of all oppressed people will be ongoing.