ICYMI: US Department of Arts and Culture Staffers Call For #CeaseFireNow

The US Department of Arts and Culture isn’t a real federal agency, but as the placeholder until the government actually makes one, we call on all colleagues in federal government, campaign staffers, and federal contractors to urge President Biden to demand an immediate ceasefire to end the genocide in Gaza.

Israel’s inhumane blockade, illegal bombardment, and ground invasion have turned the Gaza Strip from an occupied apartheid zone into a catastrophic site of human suffering. The Israeli government’s inhumane military actions have displaced at least 1.5 million Palestinians, deprived 2 million of drinking water, and murdered over 10,000. As the Israeli government continues to flatten neighborhoods, bomb hospitals, schools, houses of worship, refugee camps, and fleeing civilians, the US government can not in good conscience stand by and support, directly or indirectly, a campaign of ethnic cleansing carried out by a nuclear power financed by US taxpayers.

As the agency tasked with supporting cultural organizers and artists across the country, we are keenly aware of the power that storytelling has played in this illegal war. Crises are often used as a way for those in power to weaponize our grief toward their own ends. In that grief and confusion, we too often let those in power sprint toward their own goals: profit, military occupation, extraction, violence.

The horrific attacks on October 7th are in no way an excuse for such a powerful nation to carry out indiscriminate bombing attacks, and dehumanizing war crimes. We simply cannot allow this massacre to continue. We cannot let the grief of this moment allow the Israeli government to perpetuate genocide of the Palestinian people in the name of self-defense. We can tell a different story; one that disrupts this false narrative that allows unprecedented human suffering and violence to be carried out under the banner of “self-defense.” We can tell a story that calls it what it is: genocide.