On 15 May 2017, a number of organizations came together to rally in Toulouse, France, in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. For the second time in six days, over 100 people took the streets of Toulouse to urge freedom and justice for Palestinian prisoners.
Anti-imperialist collective Coup Pour Coup 31 – a member of the Samidoun network – reported that protesters carried a massive Palestinian flag, chanting, “Palestine vivra, Palestine vaincra!” (Palestine lives, Palestine will win), “Free the Prisoners, Free Georges Abdallah!” and “Zionists, fascists, you are the terrorists!” Protesters highlighted the case of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Lebanese Communist struggler for Palestine imprisoned in French prisons for nearly 33 years. Abdallah earlier waged a three-day hunger strike to support the Palestinian hunger strike.
The protest followed a similar collective event on 10 May, which also drew over 100 people to rally for the Palestinian prisoners. There are a total of approximately 6300 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; 1500 launched a collective hunger strike on 17 April for basic human rights, including the right to family visits, to access higher education, to receive proper medical care, and an and to solitary confinement and imprisonment without charge or trial.
Coup Pour Coup presented a statement at the rally:
It is nearly 30 days since more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike in Israeli prisons for Freedom and Dignity.
The strikers have been subjected to intense repression: raids by the prison authorities, transfer from prison to prison, isolation, prohibition of family visits and confiscation of salt, the sole substance consumed with water by the strikers.
Several Palestinian leaders have also joined the hunger strike. The secretary-general of the PFLP, Ahmad Saadat, imprisoned by the occupier, participates in the movement along with his comrades. Last Sunday, he and several Palestinian leaders, were transferred from prison to prison in an attempt to break the strikers’ movement.
Everywhere in occupied Palestine and throughout the world, demonstrations of solidarity with the strikers are being organized. We anti-imperialist strugglers in solidarity with the Palestinian people must redouble our efforts to express our solidarity with the Palestinian Prisoners in their struggle against the repressive system of the Israeli state.
The Palestinian prisoners represent the resistance of an entire people facing the oppression of the Zionist state. They represent the path of the struggle against the capitulation of the Oslo Accords, against the collaboration of the Palestinian Authority with the colonial state and for the only just and lasting project: a free and democratic Palestine from the Mediterranean sea to the Jordan river.
Today, on 15 May, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, the day of the catastrophe, the expulsion of nearly one million Palestinians from their land by the new colonial state. Today they are the Palestinian Refugees. The right to return, a forgotten principle in the Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements, is essential to achieving the legitimate goals of the Palestinian people.
In France, solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners has a particular resonance. Because in the prisons of the French State is one of the 6,300 Palestinian prisoners: Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. Locked up since 1984 for his involvement in the Palestinian resistance, France refuses to release this resister.
On Monday 24 April, Georges Abdallah and his Basque co-detainees and other prisoners went on a three-day hunger strike in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners.
So, intensify our solidarity, strengthen the BDS movement and fight for the liberation of Georges Abdallah! This is the meaning of our fight at Coup Pour Coup 31, a member of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
Freedom for Ahmad Saadat, Georges Abdallah
And all the Palestinian prisoners!
Palestine vivra, Palestine vaincra!