Protesters in New York gathered outside the offices of prison contractor and global security corporation G4S on Friday, 24 June as part of the global days of action in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayed.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network held its Friday protest highlighting the case of Kayed, who completed his 14.5 year prison sentence in Israeli prison on 13 June, only to be ordered to six months administrative detention without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable.
Kayed’s case has provoked Palestinian and international outrage, from his comrades in the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who have embarked on a campaign of collective hunger strikes and protests inside the prison, to Palestinian prisoners and organizations across the political spectrum concerned that Kayed’s case will set a precedent for Palestinian prisoners being indefinitely detained following the expiration of their sentences.
Over 150 Palestinian and international organizations joined the call for days of action on 24 and 25 June to free Bilal Kayed and end administrative detention. Protests and other actions are or have taken place in New York, Brussels, Berlin, Den Haag, Athens, Vienna, Vancouver, Dublin, Torino, Milan, Edinburgh, and other cities in solidarity with Kayed.
In New York, protesters included former US political prisoner Laura Whitehorn, who participated in the recent Labor, Academic and anti-Prison Delegation to Palestine; and “Freedom Sailors” author Greta Berlin visiting from France, who joined in the demonstration outside G4S. Protesters had constant, active and lively engagement with passers-by about Kayed’s case, the struggle of Palestinian prisoners, and the role of the giant security corporation. G4S, the second-largest private employer in the world, provides equipment, control rooms and security systems to Israeli prisons. It is the subject of a global call for boycott, including a call from Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Samidoun will protest for freedom for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinian prisoners again in New York City on Friday, 8 July, at 4 pm, outside the offices of G4S at 19 W. 44th St.
Photos by Joe Catron and Christian Valencia