Across the Globe: Transnational Solidarity with Palestinian Mass Hunger Strike

intern2August 11, 2016 – In light of the mass hunger strikes taking place inside Israeli prisons and detention centers in solidarity with hunger striking administrative detainee Bilal Kayed, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, US Palestinian Community Network and Black4Palestine wish to express their support for participation in and appreciation of  the far-reaching solidarity actions across the globe. These actions have included stands of solidarity, public demonstrations, awareness raising leaflets and pamphlets, lectures and talks, as well as solidarity hunger strikes in other countries. Palestine, in its struggle against the Israeli occupation, has long mobilized transnational solidarity among peoples who have shared experiences of living under colonial imperialism, government oppression, racial domination and economic exploitation.People around the globe have been mobilizing and organizing solidarity actions with Bilal Kayed and other prisoners and detainees, including the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Greece, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Jordan, France, Ireland, Canada, and many other countries. Additionally, various networks and coalitions, including Black Solidarity with Palestine, have issued solidarity statements. Irish Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland expressed solidarity with the hunger strikers in the hands of Israeli authorities “who have a lengthy record of abuse and torture of prisoners in occupied Palestine”. From South Africa, diverse voices for justice have spoken out for the hunger strikers. In France, imprisoned Lebanese Arab political prisoner Georges Ibrahim Abdallah returned meals for three days in solidarity with Kayed and his fellow strikers. In Palestine, solidarity tents throughout major cities organize a series of actions and events to express solidarity with the mass hunger strikes.

The issue of Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in Israeli prisons and detention centers transcends one of individual human rights; it is also one of collective rights of an entire people – the Palestinian people, who continue to be deprived of the right to self-determination and sovereignty – basic fundamentals of international law. All Palestinian political prisoners – regardless of their alleged political affiliations or charges – are entitled to fair trial guarantees under international humanitarian law and international human rights laws. Palestinian political prisoners and detainees are systematically subjected to torture and ill treatment with continued impunity – highlighting the need for more solidarity actions from people around the globe to call for immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners, long-denied their basic rights.

Transnational solidarity between various oppressed peoples and liberation movements around the globe demonstrates that the struggle for rights is a historical one that is connected through distinct experiences of oppression and dehumanization. Oppression, repression, and brutality of state terror persist despite the existence of internationally recognized rights, as oppressed peoples continue to be denied basic human rights, including the right to self-determination.

We salute all of the strugglers for justice who have taken to the streets and spoken with their communities about the mass hunger strike of Palestinians in Israeli jails. At this urgent moment, we call on all friends of Palestine to continue, expand and intensify their global solidarity actions for the freedom of Palestinian prisoners. As Bilal Kayed enters his 58th day of hunger strike and as the mass movement inside Israeli prisons grows for his release, it is critical that the international movement be loud and clear when state actors are complicit or silent. In particular, we urge all to intensify the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel for the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners and the freedom of Palestine, and for BDS groups to take up actions in support of the rights of Palestinian prisoners.

We salute all of the political prisoners around the world leading the movement for justice, freedom and self-determination. Together, our global solidarity is crucial to collectively face repression and defeat racism, imperialism and exploitation