On 1 March, Mensa Occupata in Naples organized an evening event focusing on the situation of Palestinian prisoners and the case of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the imprisoned Lebanese Communist struggler for Palestine in French prisons for over 33 years.
Speakers from Coup Pour Coup 31, the anti-imperialist collective that is a part of the Samidoun Network, addressed over 60 people and discussed how to build the solidarity movement in Naples and elsewhere. The Coup Pour Coup statement follows:
We begin by warmly thanking the comrades of the Mensa Occupata for the invitation to Naples. For us, it is very important to create links of solidarity internationally, especially when it comes to the fight to free Palestinian prisoners and Georges Abdallah.
Our anti-imperialist collective Coup pour Coup 31 was born in 2009, especially around the struggle for the release of Georges Abdallah.
Why this struggle?
Because Georges Abdallah is an Arab communist. From his days in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, where he became politicized in the 1970s, Georges Abdallah has never stopped fighting against capitalism. He has always affirmed his communist commitment, without ever denying his politics. He continues to stand today alongside peoples struggling against imperialism, Zionism and reactionary regimes.
He regularly makes statements of support for revolutionary political prisoners throughout the world, particularly in Morocco, Turkey, the Philippines … He has, of course, supported the various hunger strikes of Palestinian prisoners and more recently the prisoners of ATIK (Confederation of Turkish Workers in Europe) held in Germany.
Because Georges Abdallah is a political prisoner. Locked up in France since 1984, he has been eligible for release since 1999. Despite this, the French state refuses to release him. The US and Israel put pressure in this direction, and it is the successive French governments that keep him in prison and seek to force him to deny his cause.
Because Georges Abdallah is a prisoner of the Palestinian Resistance. He joined the ranks of the PFLP and fought against Zionist colonization. His struggles, when he was free or now while imprisoned, have always been a part of the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Today, he embodies the only just and lasting solution: a free, secular and democratic Palestine from the Mediterranean sea to the Jordan river and the return of all Palestinian refugees.
Since 2009, we have been popularizing in Toulouse, France and elsewhere, the case of Georges Abdallah, his battles of yesterday and today. We visit regularly with him and correspond with the comrade. By fighting for his liberation, we are creating links with Palestine, Lebanon and their liberation strugglers. We are proud, for example, to have helped strengthen the ties between Georges Abdallah and the PFLP.
In 2015, in collaboration with the Palestinian Progressive Youth Union, we renamed a street and a square named for Charles de Gaulle in both Toulouse and Gaza for Georges Abdallah!
In 2017, we proposed to Georges Abdallah to make a solidarity photo in support of Ahmad Saadat, secretary general of the PFLP. In return, Ahmad Saadat issued an open letter to Georges.
Georges Abdallah also supported the legitimate struggles of families who have been victims of police crimes, including wearing a “Justice for Adama” T-shirt in solidarity with a young working class Black man who was the victim of a racist crime by the gendarmerie and in support of his brother, Bagui Traoré, who has been incarcerated after being the main witness to the killing of Adama.
Our group has since one year been a member of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. Our goal was to intensify our struggle and support for progressive Palestinian prisoners, at the forefront of the struggle against Zionism. To support Palestinian Prisoners means supporting the one in the prisons of French imperialism, Georges Abdallah!
Following the presentation from Coup Pour Coup, a statement from Georges Abdallah in Italian was read welcoming the initiative and saluting past and current struggles in Italy. The full translated statement is below:
Knowing that you gather today in support of an initiative in solidarity with the Palestinian people brings all of the communist and revolutionary Arab prisoners in the Euro-Mediterranean area a great deal of strength and enthusiasm.
These are not mere words of convenience. Comrades, when you are behind these abominable walls for several decades, our words spoken are more charged than usual.
Throughout the past years and your many initiatives of solidarity with Palestine and its imprisoned strugglers, you have worked with others very effectively to demonstrate, among other things, that it is always at the political level that you decide the role and the weight of the judicial rituals from the moment at which the revolutionary protagonists are imprisoned. You have participated very effectively in unmasking and denouncing the judicial rage that resembles the revenge of the state. It is still necessary to emphasize, comrades, that this judicial harassment is not random or gratuitous; it is part of the global dynamics of the counter-revolution. From the Zionist prisons to those in Morocco, from the isolation cells in Turkey to the dark cells in Greece, the Philippines, elsewhere in Asia and around the world, we always make the same observation: judicial harassment is one element of a large array of tactics used by the permanent, preventive counter-revolution. Of course, this set of measures and laws continuously becomes heavier and heavier as the system races toward crisis.
The crisis of a dying capitalism in this phase of advanced putrefaction is already visible on the global level, both in the center of the system and in its peripheries. Just look to see all of this barbarism, these massacres and the “surgical” bombings conducted against the people of Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. It is enough to see this mass of men, women and children thrown into the sea, driven by carnage, fear and famine. But even look, above all, here, in the belly of the best, in Europe, in the United States, in Asia, where fascist forces seize whole limbs of the population disoriented by unemployment, existential precariousness and the advanced process of social degradation. The crisis of capitalism is there. We still must go further than the simple observation of these manifestations and highlight the root causes of this insurmountable crisis of capitalism, unmasking the inanity of the different reformist proposals that flourish these days in France or elsewhere in Europe through left social democracy and electoralism…There is no way to exit the crisis while keeping the framework of capitalism intact. Globalized capitalism is the system that really exists today and the agony it causes the world will end only in the overtaking of the capitalist system towards communism, not through historical compromises or other illusory attempts to safeguard a self-styled democratic capitalism with a human face, but through the implacable struggle of class against class.
Nowadays, we all live under the hegemony of globalized capital. No country can completely escape the destructive mechanism of this hegemony. It is this globalized capitalism that is in crisis, and it is against this capitalism that the communists and all revolutionaries will have to win in order to overcome barbarism.
From one country to another, the measures recommended to serve capital are almost always the same: making the popular masses bear the maintenance costs of a moribund system of exploitation. These measures only amplify the vastness of the disaster and accentuate the dynamics of crisis even more. The more the crisis develops and the more the foundations of the power of globalized capital, the imperial states, increase their interventions in the peripheries, increasing their pressure on oppressed peoples and attempting to blackmail existing bourgeois regimes.
Comrades, there is a space for another future rather than submission to imperial dictates whose consequences we can see in the form of the destruction of entire cities, the dismantling of states, the parade of the dead and the forced migration.
Comrades, Palestine these days counts its daily share of young martyrs. Nevertheless, the resistance continues and will certainly continue until the defeat of the Zionist occupation. Naturally, the Palestinian masses can rely more than ever on your active solidarity. However, I would like to draw attention to the number of Palestinian children who are increasingly involved in the struggle of the masses and face severe repression from the Zionist military and its magistrates who inflict the heaviest sentences upon them. When you are only 14 or 15 years old and you are being sentenced to 10 or 15 years, you have the greatest need for international solidarity. A word from time to time for every lion cub and every flower helps to ensure that the Zionist jailers understand that these children are not alone.
Let a thousand solidarity initiatives flourish in support of Palestine and its Intifada.
Solidarity, all solidarity with the resisters in Zionist prisons and in the isolation cells in Morocco, Turkey, Greece, the Philippines and all over the world!
Solidarity, all solidarity, with the young proletarians of the popular neighborhoods!
Capitalism is no more than barbarism, honor to all those who oppose it in the diversity of their expressions!
Together, comrades, we will win!
To all of you my warmest revolutionary greetings.
Your comrade Georges Abdallah
Next, the Naples Coordination for Palestine presented on the situation of occupied Palestine, the prisoners and the resistance, and two Palestinians from al-Khalil discussed the closure and oppression in the city. Both football players, they noted the occupation’s tactics of repressing Palestinian popular football, including denial of travel and the blockade of Gaza.
The BDS Campaign spoke about the need to build the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and to resist attempts to criminalize and repress Palestine solidarity in Europe. In particular, they emphasized the need to build the campaign against the Giro d’Italia bicycle race to demand it move its starting point from occupied Palestine.
The participants discussed solidarity between the Palestinian and Kurdish movements, the situation of the Palestinian resistance today and how to organize for Palestine before concluding the evening with a solidarity meal and music.