New York City activists took to the streets once more on Friday, 9 June to demand justice and freedom for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, demonstrators gathered outside the Best Buy electronics store in New York’s Union Square.
Best Buy is a large vendor of Hewlett-Packard (HP) consumer electronics, including printers, ink, laptops, tablets and other devices and supplies. HP is subject to a global boycott campaign because HP Enterprise contracts with multiple Israeli occupation entities, playing a direct role in providing IT and infrastructure support to Israeli occupation, imprisonment, colonization and apartheid.
HP provides services to Israeli prisons and detention centers, military and security forces, checkpoint and ID systems, among other occupation entities. This means that HP profits directly from developing and maintaining the infrastructure of the oppression, dispossession and colonization of the people and land of Palestine.
Participants in the demonstration carried signs, chanted and distributed information to passers-by about HP’s complicity in Israeli occupation and apartheid. They received interested and positive feedback from many passers-by on the street.
Demonstrators also distributed information about Palestinian political prisoners. There are currently over 6,300 Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails, including over 300 children and 500 held without charge or trial under so-called “administrative detention.”
A security guard from Best Buy attempted to demand that the demonstrators leave the front of the store and move across the street, threatening to call the police on the protesters despite their legal right to protest on the sidewalk.
One participant in the demonstration was a veteran Filpina activist, who recalled the long history of cooperation and joint struggle between Filipino and Palestinian organizers in New York City. While today, organizations like Samidoun, BAYAN USA, Anakbayan, NYC Students for Justice in Palestine and the Palestinian Youth Movement come together in the International League of People’s Struggle, in the 1960s and 1970s, Filipino and Palestinian activists in New York City would also regularly attend each other’s events.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network protests weekly outside the Best Buy as part of the international #StopHP campaign and in support of Palestinian political prisoners’ struggle for freedom. All supporters of justice in Palestine are invited to attend the weekly Friday protests in New York City and demand freedom for Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian people and Palestinian land.