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Olivia Stock
11 December 2023, 10:35

Over 300 Australian nightlife workers and venues sign open letter for Gaza ceasefire

The letter calls for “freedom, safety, justice and peace for all Palestinian people”

Green and red poster for the ‘Nightlife for a free Palestine’ open letter

A new open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza has been launched by Australian nightlife venues and workers.

The Nightlife For A Free Palestine letter has amassed over 300 signatures since being launched on Friday (8th December), including venue owners, promoters, hospitality workers, and artists from across Australia’s nightlife community.

“We call for freedom, safety, justice and peace for all Palestinian people, whether that be in Palestine or in our own neighbourhood,” the letter reads. “One people’s freedom should not mean oppression of another’s. Human rights and international law must be upheld.”

It goes on to note that venues hosting fundraiser events for Palestine are being “targeted with abuse on social media”, drawing attention to how “the legacy of nightlife culture has been forged through collective resistance against repression and the formation of solidarity through music and art.”

“For many, these spaces are a refuge from the unbalanced power structures and stigmas that diminish and marginalise us. It is where we build our strength within our own identities and alongside our communities.”

The letter adds: “Nightlife events are simply recognising the humanity of the Palestinian people and calling for their rights to be respected, the same position taken by independent human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children, the United Nations and UNICEF. These attacks seek to silence this position and are blatant attempts to obstruct the pursuit of justice, liberation, and sovereignty. They are also clear examples of anti-Palestinian racism.”

Nightlife For A Free Palestine outlines three key affirmations in the letter. Firstly it explains that it wants: “The right for all people to gather, create, mourn, heal, and celebrate in nightlife spaces without fear of persecution. This includes Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, First Nations people, Jews, queer people, and others of differing faiths and ethnicities.”

Secondly: “We refuse to be intimidated by the ongoing attacks on our venues, workers, and members of our community.”

And finally: “We will continue programming artists that are targeted by institutional violence and oppression, recognising the fundamental contribution they make to our culture.”

Read and sign the Australian Nightlife For A Free Palestine open letter here.

A large number of musicians and record labels have been releasing music via Bandcamp in an effort to raise funds for charities working to support innocent civilians impacted by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Find a selection of those here.

Last week, drum & bass collective EQ50 released a new compilation to raise money for charitable projects working inside Palestine. 

Promoters and artists are continuing to show solidarity with the population of Gaza through fund and awareness-raising events. Find a round-up of those here.

Over 4000 musicians recently signed an open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, including electronic music artists and DJs such as Ben UFO, Kode9, Jamz Supernova, Brian Eno, The Blessed Madonna and I. JORDAN.