Protesters in New York City gathered on Friday, 2 June to salute Palestinian prisoners’ struggle over 40 days in the #DignityStrike and demand freedom for all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organized the protest outside the Best Buy electronics store in Union Square. The protest highlighted the growing international boycott of Hewlett-Packard (HP) over Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s contracts with Israeli occupation entities, including Israeli prisons and detention centers, military and security forces, and other occupation infrastructure.
Participants distributed materials and information to passers-by about the situation of approximately 6,300 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, urging their immediate release. They also provided information about HP’s profiteering from the imprisonment of Palestinians and ongoing occupation, apartheid and colonization through its ongoing contracts with the Israeli occupation state. Participants urged shoppers to boycott HP computers, ink, printers and other consumer products so long as the corporation continues to participate in the colonization of Palestine.
The protest celebrated the gains won by Palestinian prisoners in the Strike of Freedom and Dignity, which lasted for over 40 days, in Israeli prisons, bringing together 1500 Palestinian prisoners from all factions to demand an end to the ongoing violation of their basic human rights in Israeli jails. It also demanded the immediate release of all of the Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli occupation prisons.
Following the protest, participants joined in a vigil in Washington Square Park organized by the Afghani community in New York and their supporters, in protest of an unclaimed explosion in Kabul that killed nearly 100 people and wounded hundreds more on Wednesday, 31 May. The vigil honored the Afghan victims of the attack, part of the ongoing violence sparked following the ongoing U.S. intervention, war and invasion in Afghanistan.
Samidoun activists are participating in a number of upcoming events and actions in New York City to stand for justice in Palestine and against U.S. imperialism. On Sunday, 4 June, Samidoun will join a protest of the “Salute to Israel Parade” in New York City at 10:30 am at 5th Avenue and 58th Street. Jewish Voice for Peace will also be holding a family-oriented counter-event at the parade to protest “50 years of occupation, and nearly 70 years of expulsion of Palestinians.”
On Monday, 5 June, Samidoun supporters will join BAYAN USA in a protest outside the Philippine Consulate in Manhattan standing against martial law in the Philippines and urging resumption of the peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Later in the week, on Tuesday, 6 June, Samidoun will participate in a protest against U.S. intervention in Venezuela by the Red Stairs in Times Square at 5:00 pm. Following the Venezuela solidarity action, part of the Emergency Days of Solidarity with Bolivarian Venezuela, participants will join in a Solidarity Forum on rebuilding the U.S. anti-war movement organized by the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), United National Antiwar Coalition and International Action Center.