New York City demonstrators gathered on Friday, 21 April outside the Best Buy electronics store in Union Square to express their solidarity with the 1,500 Palestinian prisoners engaged in an open hunger strike for freedom and dignity.
Organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, the protest expressed solidarity with the hunger strikers and called for immediate implementation of their demands and the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners launched a hunger strike on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, to address their basic rights and demand an end to inhumane treatment by the Israeli occupation. Named the Strike of Freedom and Dignity, the hunger strike aims to put an end to the denial of family visits, secure medical treatment for ill prisoners, stop abusive treatment in transfers and end solitary confinement and administrative detention, the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial.
Demonstrators also highlighted the complicity of Hewlett-Packard (HP) in Israeli occupation, apartheid, colonialism and imprisonment, calling on Best Buy shoppers to boycott HP products until the corporation ends its contracts with the Israeli state, including the Israel Prison Service. HP is also involved in creating ID mechanisms, databases and the technology of Israeli apartheid at checkpoints and the wall.
Participants distributed flyers and information to passers-by about the situation of Palestinian prisoners and the growing international boycott against HP, while chanting for freedom and justice for Palestine and for Palestinian prisoners. “One, two, three, four, open up the prison door; five, six, seven, eight, smash the settler Zionist state,” chanted demonstrators.
Samidoun in New York City will be continuing its actions and events to support the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, and is calling for another protest on Friday, 28 April at 5:30 pm at the Best Buy at Union Square in support of Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike. All supporters of justice for Palestine are invited to attend and participate in this protest to support Palestinian prisoners at this critical phase in their struggle.