Samidoun activists in New York City protested in defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli attack and for the freedom of Palestinian prisoners on Monday, 31 July. The protest was organized outside the Best Buy at Union Square, as part of the global campaign to boycott Hewlett-Packard products including laptops, printers, ink and other computer products because of HP corporations’ contracts with Israeli military and occupation entities, including the Israel Prison Service.
Protesters carried signs, reading “Israel: Hands off Al-Aqsa! Free all Palestinian Prisoners!” They also distributed information to customers and passers-by with more information about Palestinian prisoners and about the complicity of HP in ongoing Israeli war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians.
Right-wing counter-protesters associated with the notoriously racist and violent Jewish Defense League turned up in an attempt to intimidate protesters. Numerous passers-by expressed strong support for the Palestinian people and the Samidoun protesters, denouncing the racist slogans shouted by JDL hecklers, who carried Israeli flags and wore T-shirts emblazoned with the JDL logo. The organization has been repeatedly deemed a terrorist group and is associated with the killing of Arab American organizer Alex Odeh in California in 1985, as well as ongoing attacks on Palestinians, Arabs and solidarity activists.
Comrade Shahid of the Pakistan USA Freedom Forum participated in the protest and recorded a live video on Facebook showing the JDL presence:
Hundreds of Palestinians have been seized, arrested and detained by Israeli occupation forces amid ongoing protests against occupation attempts to impose new “security” frameworks of control over the holy site.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network will continue its weekly protests, now on Mondays at 4:30 pm at the Best Buy in Union Square. The next protest will take place on Monday, 7 August and will focus on solidarity with Bilal Diab, Palestinian administrative detainee imprisoned without charge or trial on hunger strike since 14 July to demand his freedom. All supporters of Palestine are urged to attend, especially to confront JDL attempts at intimidation and racist attacks.