Activists in New York City protested at the United Nations on 18 August, demanding freedom for imprisoned Palestinian lawyer Muhammad Allan, 31, and all Palestinian prisoners. The demonstration, organized by NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, brought together activists from groups including Anakbayan NY/NJ, Al-Awda NY the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee and more. NYC SJP issued a statement demanding freedom for Allan and all prisoners:

“Zionists scapegoat expressly militant youth such as Lina Khattab to justify administrative detention and imprisonment, regardless of the actual content of their actions. Yet it is clear that all Palestinians are subject to inhumane treatment by the israeli ethnocracy, even (and in some cases, especially) when they attempt to use existing channels such as academia and the law that purport to reflect universal liberal values in their pursuit of justice.

Allan’s case does not exist in a vacuum; as of July, Israel was holding 5,442 Palestinian political prisoners and detainees. Such treatment of Palestinians by the occupation is routine. Concurrently, we must recognize that the brutal treatment of Palestinian political prisoners does more than simply underscore the occupation’s indefensible moral standards—it is a manifestation of Zionist logic itself. Zionism requires this treatment because it is predicated on the erasure of the Palestinian people and the denial of their right to self-determination.”

Members of Allan’s family, including his uncle and cousin, spoke about his 64 days of hunger strike under administrative detention without charge or trial, demanding action for his freedom.

NYC SJP followed up on this protest with a march and vigil in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on 19 August, also with the participation and leadership of Allan’s family, and will continue to organize actions, events and build community action in line with its mission:

“SJP believes that while the Palestinian people must ultimately be able to decide their future in Palestine, as students and members of the community of New York in the belly of imperialist America we demand the full decolonization of Palestinian lands; the end of the Israeli occupation; the implementation of the right of return and repatriation for all Palestinian refugees to their original homes and properties; and an end to the Israeli system of Apartheid and discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population….

We actively promote liberation for all oppressed nations, sexualities, genders and classes, and we are active throughout the greater New York City area. We seek to implement BDS in our communities, as well as other calls from the Palestinian people, through advocacy and local community work. Furthermore, we seek to educate our communities on the Palestinian struggle and get them involved in our work for justice. Through work with allies and comrades, we uphold the right of return for Palestinian refugees everywhere and an end to Zionism, settler colonialism, racism, and apartheid in occupied Palestine.”

Video of 18 August protest:

Video of 19 August protest:

Photos of 18 August protest: