Their Struggle Is Ours To Continue
Date: 18 February (Sat)
Venue: The Arts & Civil Space, #07-96, 10 Ubi Crescent, Lobby E
On 2 Feb 1963, over 120 working class heroes of Singapore were arrested and detained without trial under Operation Coldstore, which was planned by Lee Kuan Yew, in cahoots with the British government at the time. The detainees were trade union leaders, political leaders, hawkers, cultural workers, journalists, doctors, lawyers, educators and students.All of them were spirited fighters in Singapore’s anti-colonial movement, and their dreams of a free Singapore, their cries of merdeka, were cruelly muffled that day. Many of them were imprisoned for more than a decade, causing untold pain to their families and friends, and leaving Singapore in the hands of a neo-colonial government that would go on to rule the people under an iron fist, deprived of fundamental freedoms to this day.
In the decades that followed Operation Coldstore, up till the late 1980s, thousands more freedom fighters were detained under the Internal Security Act, without trial - all of them acts of political repression and human rights violations.
60 years on, young activists today are coming together to honour these heroes and reflect on the lessons that their struggle and sacrifice hold for us. We gather to celebrate their spirit, draw strength from their legacy, build on their traditions and ground ourselves in this precious part of our history that may have been left out of our textbooks, but belongs to this land we walk on, belongs to us.
At this event, organised to commemorate 60 years since Operation Coldstore, we want to go beyond remembering. This is also a ceremony to recommit to the principles that drove these women and men, to revive their cries of merdeka, to reclaim their struggle for a free, democratic Singapore.
The event, co-organised by Transformative Justice Collective and Function 8, will be attended by members of the Old Left, and is a celebration of intergenerational ties in Singapore civil society. It will include speeches, songs and slideshows, in both English and Mandarin.
2-2.30pm - Registration
2.30-4pm - Speeches, songs and more
4-5pm - Reception (food and drinks will be provided)
The event will also be livestreamed on Transformative Justice Collective's Facebook page.