Activists in New York protested outside the offices of security corporation G4S on Friday, 25 March, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and calling for freedom for all Palestinian prisoners and for G4S to get out of Palestine immediately.
G4S provides security systems, control rooms, and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints, police training systems and even the Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing to Gaza, making them directly complicit in the Israeli siege on Gaza. A sustained international campaign, including calls from Palestinian prisoners and hundreds of Palestinian and international organizations, has caused G4S to lose contracts around the world and sparked escalating demands that public institutions like the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency, European Commission and United Nations cut their contracts with the security corporation. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organizes weekly protests outside the G4S office in New York City.
G4S announced earlier in the month that it plans within the next one to two years to sell its Israeli subsidiary entirely, and exit the market in occupied Palestine. However, Palestinians have urged continued pressure on the security corporation to ensure that it is held to its commitment – and acts immediately, because Palestinian prisoners continue to suffer daily under the security regime supplied by G4S.
Protesters expressed their support for Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, including Sami Janazrah and Imad Batran, joining their call for an end to administrative detention without charge or trial. Many of the participants had traveled to Washington, DC the previous weekend for the anti-AIPAC, Palestine solidarity mass protest; several new participants joined the weekly action for the first time after participating in the DC march.
Participants promoted the upcoming 15 May mass rally in New York City marking the Nakba and demanding the right of return and the liberation of Palestine. People passing by frequently expressed their support for Palestinians under occupation; one French-Algerian couple living in France shared their concerns about the escalating repression of Palestine solidarity and BDS organizing in their home country. Another passerby, a Black flight attendant, shared her experiences with racism in the airline industry and its impact on Black, Arab, Muslim and South Asian workers and travelers.
Photos: Joe Catron