To the @GatesFoundation: End Your Silence on India's Brutality

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Photo courtesy of Kashmir Global. Click here for attribution license.

Our Demands:

  1. Demand that the Gates Foundation end its silence and condemn the military and police brutality of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authoritarian government in Kashmir.
  2. Urge the Gates Foundation to rescind its award to Indian Prime Minister Modi.
  3. Call on the Gates Foundation to speak out against police and military repression in all countries within which it operates.

Details:

Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, recently put out a statement expressing support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. In her words: “Black Lives Matter. We cannot allow systemic racism to go unnamed or unchallenged. Above all, we cannot turn away.” You can read the full statement here.

But while the Gates Foundation speaks out against police brutality in the U.S., it has repeatedly turned a blind eye to the violence and repression of India’s government in Kashmir.

In August of 2019, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a massive military crackdown on the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir. Thousands of Kashmiri people were arrested -- civilians, critics, journalists, and local politicians. India cut off phone lines and blocked Kashmiri access to the internet. Reports of torture, including of underage boys, emerged from the prison cells run by Indian security forces.

Why did India’s government do this? Because India’s leaders had decided to reinforce their brutal political and military control over Kashmir. Since Modi knew Kashmir’s population would say no, India used its military to shut Kashmiri society down.

Not only did the Gates Foundation remain silent on these atrocities, but it actually showered praise on the Modi regime by honoring him with a humanitarian award... in the midst of the Kashmir crackdown.

We must all support the #BlackLivesMatter movement here in the United States. But when billionaires like Bill and Melinda Gates turn their backs on communities that suffer from police and military violence, we cannot let them get away with issuing platitudes in support of social justice here at home. The Gates Foundation must be called out for this clear hypocrisy.

  1. Demand that the Gates Foundation end its silence and condemn the military and police brutality of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authoritarian government in Kashmir.

  2. Urge the Gates Foundation to cancel its award to Indian Prime Minister Modi.

  3. Call on the Gates Foundation to speak out against police and military repression in all countries within which it operates.

If you and I want a world in which all people live free of police and military violence, we must stand together across borders and continents to build it. We cannot allow billionaires to say one thing inside the U.S. while making a very different calculation somewhere else.


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Washington, DC

To: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
From: arvin Alaigh

*End your silence and condemn the military and police brutality of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authoritarian government in Kashmir.

*Rescind your award to Indian Prime Minister Modi.

*Speak out against police and military repression in all countries within which your organization operates.