Supporters of the campaign to free Palestinian prisoners held an emergency protest in Piccadilly Gardens on 17 August as Bilal Kayed endured his 64th day of hunger strike in an Israeli prison. Activists from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!/RCG were joined by Samidoun, Manchester Palestine Action and the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group for an open mic rally and a petition supported by hundreds of working class people in the city centre.
On a night when Celtic football supporters in Glasgow defied a ban on Palestinian flags in huge numbers, the Palestinian flag flew proudly in Manchester. From the microphone, Shadi Daana spoke of his father’s past imprisonment at the hands of the Zionist state and his brother’s two year administrative detention without proper charge or trial. An RCG supporter pointed out the links between the Israeli regime and British companies and politicians.
The G4S corporation has collaborated in the jailing of Palestinian political prisoners and is used as part of the repressive apparatus in Britain, targeting refugees and asylum seekers in particular. Children and other supporters held up posters calling for freedom for Bilal Kayed and all Palestinians locked up by the Israeli occupation.