At events, demonstrations, forums and actions around the world, international solidarity movements and Palestinian communities in exile and diaspora marked Palestinian Prisoners’ Day on April 17, 2015, taking the streets and raising the images and the names of Palestinian political prisoners in cities across the globe.
The following is an incomplete list of actions. All photos by local event organizers and participants. In order to include your own reports, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Toulouse, France, over 150 people took to the streets on April 17 to support Palestinian prisoners and to support local activist Gaëtan, imprisoned for two months for protest activities. Anti-imperialist collective Coup Pour Coup 31 organized the action with BDS France Toulouse, Collectif Palestine Libre, NPA31 and OCML – Voie Proletarienne. Slogans and signs focused on the cases of imprisoned political leader Khalida Jarrar, student activist Lina Khattab, and PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, as well as the case of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Arab struggler for Palestine imprisoned in French jails for 31 years. Photos:
In Paris, France, as part of the International Week of Action for Political Prisoners, organizers screened Palestinian films on imprisonment, arrest and detention, and invited Yousef Habash to speak about the situation of Palestinian political prisoners, as well as presenting an exhibition of photos of Palestinian prisoners by Yann Renoult.
In Lille, France, activists held a protest on April 15 for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, demanding freedom for Georges Abdallah, Ahmad Sa’adat, and all Palestinian prisoners:
In Brussels, Belgium, crowds gathered at the European Parliament on April 18 demanding freedom for Palestinian prisoners, in an event organized by the Palestinian Community of Belgium and Luxembourg. Participants carried signs and banners, including the Samidoun poster featuring Khalida Jarrar, Ahmad Sa’adat and Lina Khattab, demanding justice and freedom for Palestinian prisoners. Participating organizations included the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), Progressive Palestinian Youth, Intal: Globalize Solidarity, the European Alliance in Defense of Palestinian Detainees, and more:
In Antwerp, Belgium, Antwerp for Palestine organized a flash mob and street theater action on April 17, in which activists portrayed Palestinian prisoners and Israeli soldiers on the Groenplaats:
In South Africa, BDS South Africa announced the results of their campaign – 20 South African companies dropping G4S contracts worth over 7 million Rand as a result of the exposure of G4S’ involvement in the torture and imprisonment of Palestinian political detainees, while in Portugal, the Assembly of the Republic – the Portuguese national parliament – adopted a solidarity vote officially calling for the immediate release of Khalida Jarrar.
In Italy, activists in Firenze held an action in the Piazza de Ciompi on April 17, followed by a solidarity dinner in support of Palestinian political prisoners. In Padova, activists united their work to counter the Milan Expo 2015 with support for Palestinian prisoners, holding a fundraising dinner to support Addameer and the Palestinian Developmental Women’s Studies Association in Gaza, which works with women former prisoners and a solidarity concert, while organizers in Milano welcomed Palestinian lawyer Fadwa Barghouti for a discussion on the campaign to free Marwan Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners. Photos from Firenze:
Palestinian activists in Berlin, Germany organized a forum, held by the Committee for a Democratic Palestine – Berlin. The event, which included a number of speakers, including Khaled Barakat of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat, Charlotte Kates of Samidoun, Doris Ghannam of BDS Berlin, and Majid al-Zeer of the Palestinian Return Centre, among others. Earlier in the day, a sit-in for Palestinian prisoners was also organized by the Palestinian Assembly in Germany in downtown Berlin.
Meanwhile, in Dortmund, Germany, a coalition of Palestinian organizations held an event commemorating Land Day and Palestinian Prisoners’ Day on April 18, including music and presentations by Father Atallah Hanna and Awad Abdel Fattah; performers included singer Buran Saada from Jerusalem. Mohammed Kana’aneh, former Palestinian political prisoner from 1948 occupied Palestine, was prevented by Israeli security actions from traveling to join the event, where he was the keynote speaker. He presented a statement remotely, discussing the situation of 1948 Palestinians and demanding freedom for all Palestinian prisoners:
In Dublin, Ireland, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized a protest on April 16 highlighting the numbers and statistics of Palestinians held inside Israeli jails. Protesters, including many members of the Palestinian community, held signs and banners educating the public about Palestinian prisoners. IPSC distributed a leaflet on prisoners to hundreds of passers-by; to read a PDF of the leaflet IPSC handed out, please click here.Photos:
In Glasgow, Scotland, activists with the Revolutionary Communist Group, Fight Racism Fight Imperialism and Palestine solidarity organizations protested for Palestinian political prisoners. They focused on the cases of the Hares Boys, 5 unjustly imprisoned teens; Khalida Jarrar, Palestinian leftist leader and parliamentarian arrested April 2; and Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned PFLP General secretary – and demanded an end to G4S complicity in torture. In addition, protesters demanded an end to the prosecution of activists in Glasgow and Manchester being criminalized for protesting Israel.
On April 18, in Manchester, England, the Manchester Boycott Israeli Group, the Revolutionary Communist Group and Fight Racism Fight Imperialism joined the international day of action to free Palestinian political prisoners and promote the movement to boycott Israel. Protesters also denounced the US attacks on Venezuela and promoted solidarity between Venezuela, Palestine and revolutionary and democratic movements around the world:
In Brighton, England, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign organized an information stall and picket at the Clock Tower on April 17, calling for freedom for Palestinian prisoners and focusing on the case of the five unjustly imprisoned Palestinian teens, the Hares Boys:
In Toronto, Canada, protesters outside the Israeli Embassy on April 17 demanded freedom for all Palestinian prisoners in a demonstration organized by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA). The protesters faced off against Zionist attempts to intimidate and threaten them with counterprotesters identified with the so-called “Jewish Defense League.”
Three days before, in Ottawa, Canada, protesters rallied for the freedom of Khalida Jarrar and all Palestinian prisoners on April 14, with organizers from Independent Jewish Voices, Students Against Israeli Apartheid and other organizations coming together to demand Jarrar’s immediate release:
In Chicago, Illinois, US, activists and the Palestinian community will come together on April 19 for an event and fundraiser with Ahmad Abuznaid and lawyer Michael Deutsch, to support the case of former Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, torture survivor and Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh, now facing yet more criminalization, persecution and imprisonment at the hands of the US government.
The Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC), Art Forces, Eastside Arts Alliance and Critical Resistance in Oakland, California, US, organized an art exhibition and roundtable, “Re-Visions: Black and Brown Confronting State Violence” on April 17, celebrating Black and Brown resistance movements and Palestinian Prisoners Day. Speakers Rachel Herzing; Liz Derias, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Sagnicthe Salazar, Xicana Moratorium; Rabab Abdulhadi, AMED/SFSU; Kiwi Illafonte, Mass Bass; Akubundu Amazu-Lott, All-African People’s Revolutionary Party discussed connections between struggles and cultures of resistance to policing and prisons.
At Eastern Mediterranean University, the General Union of Palestinian Students in Turkish-occupied Famagusta, Cyprus held a large event for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, featuring released prisoners Louay Odeh, Amneh Muna and Tayseer Suleiman, who discussed their experiences inside Israeli prisons and the struggle of Palestinian prisoners in the context of the Palestinian national movement:
In San Jose, Costa Rica, activists protested for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day on April 17, focusing on the case of the Hares Boys and Palestinian child prisoners:
The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine held its first Latin American congress in Caracas, Venezuela on April 15-17, focusing on the struggle of Palestinian refugees to return to Palestine, but also addressing the struggle for freedom for Palestinian political prisoners. The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and the Brazilian Landless Worker’s Movement participated in the Congress alongside Palestinian and solidarity organizations including the Committees for a Democratic Palestine:
Two events organized by Inminds and by London Palestine Action united in London, England on April 17, protesting G4S, the British/Dutch security firm – largest in the world – that provides security systems and equipment to the Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are detained, tortured and wrongfully imprisoned. Activists occupied the lobby of G4S, demanding it end its involvement in human rights violations, not only in Palestine, but also in Britain, where G4S has been involved in the mistreatment and death of refugees and asylum seekers. Photos:
In Rabat, Morocco, organizers held a protest commemorating Palestinian Prisoners’ Day and also calling for the release of political prisoners in Moroccan prisons, in response to the call by Moroccan human rights organization AMDH:
In Liverpool, England, activists organized a protest and street theatre highlighting the case of the Hares Boys for Palestinian Prisoners Day:
In Barcelona, activists for Palestine held a forum on Palestinian political prisoners as well as the movement to end the blockade of Gaza:
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, activists marked the International Day for Political Prisoners, drawing attention to the struggle not only of Palestinian prisoners, but also Basque and Galician prisoners, Turkish and Kurdish prisoners, Filipino prisoners, Moroccan and Sahrawi prisoners. In particular, the protesters highlighted the cases of Simon Trinidad, Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouti, Abdullah Ocalan, Abimael Guzman, Mauricio Norambuena, Alcides Oviedo, Osmar Martinez, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Mumia Abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Carlos Ilich Ramirez, and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah: