6 May, Derry: 24-hour Camp of Solidarity for Palestinian Prisoners

Saturday, 6 May
Beginning at 2:00 pm (after Whiteline POW Rally)
Free Derry Corner
Derry, Ireland
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This Saturday Éistigí will hold a 24 Hour camp in support of the mass hunger strike for ‘Freedom and Dignity’ that is presently taking place in Israeli prisons. This will take place at the free Derry corner

Hunger strike is the weapon of last resort for those who are deprived proper treatment as human beings. We know this from our own experience and, more painfully, we understand the terrible price that must be paid to assert our common humanity.

Poor prison conditions invariably leads to confrontation between two opposing forces, the oppressor and the oppressed. Deprived of the material conditions that make meaningful existence possible, the political prisoner will find ways and means in order to press home his / her case.

It is only whenever life grows unbareable that the option of hunger strike becomes thinkable to those that seek relief from the deprivations of incarceration. When this time arrives then there is no room left for doubt or prevarication.
In 1981 Irish Republicans embarked on a hunger strike that resulted in the deaths of ten of our bravest comrades.

Britain’s policy required conformity to normal prison rules as though we were common criminals. The ensuing protest produced unimaginable conditions of hardship for the political prisoners and families. Arch Bishop O Fiaich compared the H-Blocks to “living in sewer pipes in the slums of Calcutta.”

After much soul searching the prisoners concluded that the only way to bring the nightmare to an end was a hunger strike to death.

And so our Palestinian comrades find themselves in the same circumstances today. Having endured decades of oppression, a mass hunger strike was forced on them by a brutal prison system based on the purest forms of racism.

The battle lines are drawn once more between the oppressor and the oppressed.
The mass hunger strike is the largest of its kind in recent history. A majority of the political factions that go to make up the Palestinian
national movement are involved in the action.

Most of the prison leaders were put into isolation in the early stages of the strike, a favourite tactic of prison authorities everywhere. Reports this week that several of the isolated prisoners are now refusing water is causing major concern among families and supporters.

In addition, news of serious decline in Marwan Barghouti’s health – the man responsible for calling the hunger strike and leader of the largest political faction, al-Fatah – has upped the stakes.

Éistigí sends fraternal and solidarity greetings to each and everyone of our brave Palestinian comrades, and to the families of each of the 1600 hunger strikers.
The struggle for ‘Freedom and Dignity’ engages all of Palestinian society.

We in Éistigí stand by you as you stood by us in our time of need.