Saturday, 16 April
Gower Street (Corner of Torrington Place)
On the occasion of Prisoners’ Day, we invite you to join us in solidarity with all Palestinians currently languishing in Israeli jails. We will march from Gower street to Trafalgar square along with another march that is being held that day (people against austerity). In keeping with the circus theme that has been used to raise awareness about Abu Sakha, a Palestinian clown currently held in administrative detention, we encourage people to come dressed as colourfully and clowny as you dare! We also encourage as many specific performers as possible (circus artists, musicians, dancers etc). If you have a specific tallent to perform, please get in touch at email@example.com or private messaging to www.facebook.com/freeabusakha so we can coordinate the acts.
Since the occupation of 1967, an estimated 800,000 Palestinians, roughly 20% of the population, have been imprisoned by the occupying authorities. They have been systematically denied the right to a fair trial, as well adequate health care, access to education, and the right to family visits. Israeli torture of Palestinian political prisoners has historically been endemic and various forms of physical and psychological torture continues to date. On this year’s Prisoners’ Day, Israel holds approximately 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners, among them 406 children and 60 women, as well as 670 so called administrative detainees, who are held for months and years without charge or trial.
Israel has ramped up arrests since October 2015, following the renewal of large-scale demonstrations across the Occupied Territories. The latest escalation in violence unfolds against the backdrop of unrelenting Israeli land confiscation and settlement construction, accompanied by ongoing violence and intimidation by Israeli soldiers and armed settlers. In an outrage that reverberated across Palestinian society, Israeli settlers in July 2015 brutally burned an entire family in their home, the Dawabshehs, in the West Bank village of Duma. A badly burnt 4 year old son was the only survivor.
Israel’s mass incarceration of Palestinians is an inextricable part of the ongoing violence of occupation. Tearing at the fabric of Palestinian society, recent arrest campaigns seek to quash Palestinian ability to endure in their struggles against the occupation. It is important that on Palestinian Prisoners’ day, we all stand united to call for an end to Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. As Israel acts with ever growing contempt for international law and the will of the international community, action is now needed more than ever. We demand that our Government puts pressure on Israel to refrain from abuses against Palestinians, including sweeping arrest campaigns and violations of prisoners’ rights, and to hold Israeli government accountable for its violations of international law.