From Fight Back News Service:
Saint Paul, MN – Activists from the anti-war and the Palestine solidarity movement gathered here, Jan. 24 to demand the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and an end to Palestinian Authority (PA) security cooperation with Israeli occupation forces. The group rallied for an hour in the midst of a snowstorm. The vigil was held in response to a call from the Campaign to Free Ahmed Sa’adat for Freedom Weeks to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Sa’adat’s abduction by PA forces.
Observed by hundreds of drivers at one of St. Paul’s busiest rush hour intersections, the group included members of the Minneapolis-based Anti-War Committee, the Minnesota Cuba Committee, students from nearby Macalester College and regular attendees of the long-running weekly Palestine solidarity vigil held in the same location.
According to the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Samidoun, “Ahmad Sa’adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, is one of over 5200 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails. These political prisoners – men, women and children – are activists, organizers and political leaders of the Palestinian people.”
At the conclusion of Friday’s vigil, Anti-War Committee member Sophia Hansen-Day shared the following words, “We are here today to demand the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and for an end to Palestinian Authority security cooperation with Israeli occupation forces. We are here today to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Ahmed Sa’adat’s abduction by PA security forces and to call attention to his ongoing imprisonment by Israeli occupiers.
“We are here today to acknowledge the power of solidarity. In the words of heroic freedom fighter Samer Issawi prior to his release, ‘Your solidarity gives me the power to continue my hunger strike until I achieve my demand for freedom. It strengthens my steadfastness because it makes me realize that I’m not alone in the battle for freedom and dignity.’ Today we celebrate the release of Samer Issawi whose determination galvanized the Palestinian resistance, and we acknowledge the work yet to be done.
“We are here today on land stolen from the Dakota people to mark the ongoing occupation of Indigenous territory both in the U.S. and Palestine, to recognize the crimson blood on all our hands and to adamantly refuse silent complicity with settler colonialism and its ongoing violence.
“So, today, we raise our voices to the power of resistance, to the power of solidarity, to the power of demanding dignity and justice for all! Another world is necessary, another world is possible, another world is on her way. Long live Palestine!”
For more information, please go to www.freeahmadsaadat.org or attend an Anti-War Committee meeting held 7-9pm Thursday evenings at 4200 Cedar Ave in Minneapolis.