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Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest solidarity with the Black movement for justice and liberation following the U.S. police murders and extrajudicial executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the two latest Black lives to be taken by police in the United States, on 5 and 6 July.

State terror, whether carried out by racist police, occupation armies, border guards, or other agents of oppression, is a crime that must be met with popular resistance. The Black movement, from the historic struggles for Black liberation to the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond, is at the forefront of confronting state terror – while Black people and Black lives are being relentlessly stolen by racist police oppression.

As Kristian Davis Bailey of Black4Palestine wrote, the Black and Palestinian struggles are “the thorns that exist and resist from different ends of the US colonial and imperial project.” Standing against anti-Black racism and oppression is critical to any meaningful challenge to U.S. imperialism.

The  murders of Sterling and Castile are only the latest in a long line of ongoing police violence and repression directed at Black people in the United States, from the genocide of slavery, to lynching and Jim Crow, to the ongoing racist oppression and police/state violence directed against Black communities and lives that has sparked such powerful resistance. The United States is responsible for occupation, exploitation throughout the world, as its leading imperialist power; the U.S. was created through the dispossession and genocide of Indigenous people and built on the backs of enslaved Black people. The United States, the world’s leading imperialist power, is responsible for occupation, exploitation and oppression around the world.

The United States government is the funder, strategic partner, and strongest ally of the occupation of Palestine, while the Israeli state trains U.S. police in repressive counterinsurgency tactics tested on Palestinians under occupation.

As we struggle to free Palestinian political prisoners, imprisoned for their struggle against racist oppression and settler colonialism, we renew our call for the urgent need to free the Black Liberation, Latino and other Puerto Rican, and Indigenous political prisoners in US jails, as well as Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims imprisoned for their resistance to racism and oppression. We salute and demand the freedom of the Black resistance strugglers, prisoners from the Black Panther Party, Black Liberation Army and MOVE, who led a generations-long struggle against white supremacy and state repression that continues today.

We stand with and join in the struggle against mass incarceration in the U.S., and to dismantle the system of policing and the prison industrial complex that targets Black lives and supports the suppression of all oppressed peoples and communities in the U.S. As we demand an end to Zionist oppression in Palestine, it is critically important to confront, resist and defeat white supremacy and racist oppression in North America.

We urge all friends of Palestine and advocates of justice and freedom for Palestinian political prisoners to take to the streets and support the protests against police terror taking place across the U.S. strongly, to clearly assert that #BlackLivesMatter and that #BlackLiberationMatters, and to challenge all forms of anti-Black racism and oppression.

Justice for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile! Freedom for all political prisoners!