New Yorkers protested on Friday, 15 April in the lead-up to Palestinian Prisoners’ Day outside the offices of British-Danish security corporation G4S, demanding it stop doing business in occupied Palestine, where it currently provides security systems, control rooms and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers.
G4S is the subject of an international boycott campaign due to its involvement in profiting from the oppression of Palestinians; in addition, G4S’ involvement in the imprisonment of children in the US and the UK, and in deportation and abuse of migrants in the US, UK and Australia, has led to divestment from G4S at several major US universities. G4S pledged to remove itself from “reputationally damaging” business in March 2016, including selling off its entire G4S Israel operation in the next one to two years.
However, Palestinian activists have emphasized the critical importance of continuing to pressure G4S as its products continue to repress Palestinians on a daily basis, and to ensure that it follows through on this commitment. The international boycott of G4S – and demand that institutions end their contracts with the corporation – continues.
Samidoun protests weekly in New York City outside G4S offices at 19 W. 44th Street in Manhattan, on Fridays at 4:00 pm. This week, the protest comes in preparation for a bigger action on Sunday, 17 April, marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Participants at the demonstration included Laura Whitehorn, former U.S. political prisoner and lifelong anti-imperialist activist, asserting solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Palestinian Prisoners’ Day has been commemorated since 1974 by Palestinians and friends of Palestine around the world, and will be marked with events around the world demanding freedom for all Palestinian prisoners.
On Sunday, 17 April, Samidoun will join CUNY Prison Divest and New York City Students for Justice in Palestine at 1:30 pm at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day and launch the second Prison Divestment National Week of Action. The protest will speak out against massive public investments and subsidies for private prison corporations that profit from mass incarceration from New York to Palestine, and demand boycott and divestment from G4S and other prison profiteers like Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group.
Photos: Joe Catron