Supporters of Palestinian political prisoners rallied Friday, 7 October in New York City outside a Manhattan office of British-Danish security conglomerate G4S, a contractor with the Israeli prison system, before marching through the building’s lobby to demand that Israel release Anas Shadid, Ahmad Abu Fara, and other “administrative detainees” on hunger strike against their indefinite internment without charge or trial, and that the company end its contracts with Israel’s checkpoints, military and security forces, and prisons and detention centers.
The protest was part of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network’s participation in the global campaign for a boycott of G4S. The global campaign highlights the security corporation’s contracts with the Israeli Prison Service, to which it provides security systems, control rooms and equipment, as well as to Israeli checkpoints, police training centers and even the Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing to Gaza, where the siege is enforced. G4S has been criticized not only for human rights violations in Palestine, but also in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and elsewhere, where it participates in migrant detention and deportation and youth incarceration.
The corporation has pledged to sell off its Israeli subsidiary and other “reputationally damaging” businesses, but Palestinian organizations have emphasized the importance of continuing to protest G4S and demand its boycott until it stops profiting from human rights violations, occupation and oppression.
For the next two weeks, Samidoun’s New York City Friday protests will participate in the International Week of Action to Free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. On Friday, 14 October, protesters will gather at 4 pm at the French mission to the United Nations to demand freedom for Abdallah. Abdallah, a Lebanese Communist struggler who has been imprisoned for 32 years in French prisons, has remained jailed despite being eligible for release since 1999 partially due to the influence of Hillary Clinton and other US officials. Protests will also take place in France, Italy, Germany and other countries to demand Abdallah’s release.
Photos: Joe Catron