On 14 April, Palestinians and solidarity activists gathered in Berlin, Germany for a protest marking Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with a call for freedom for all political prisoners behind bars around the world. The demonstration was called by F.O.R. Palestine and the Democratic Palestine Committee and included a wide range of organizations, activists and individuals demanding freedom for all Palestinian and international political prisoners.
The demonstration was organized after Palestinian and solidarity organizations were excluded from the 18 March commemoration of the day of political prisoners by German organizations who refused to recognize the role of Palestinian political prisoners and the importance of including Palestinian and Palestine solidarity organizations in the global movement for the freedom of political prisoners.
Participants in the demonstration included BDS Berlin, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Revolution, JugendWiderstand, the Workers’ Power Group, Kurdish and Turkish organizations, campaigners to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and a number of Palestinian and Arab organizations in Berlin. Participants included entire families who carried Palestinian flags, banners calling for the freedom of all political prisoners, including the leftist Turkish activist Musa Asoglu imprisoned in Germany and Black Liberation prisoners in U.S. prisons. The protest took place in Hermannplatz in Berlin’s Neukolln neighborhood.
The protest also highlighted solidarity with the Great March of Return in Gaza and Palestinian refugees’ struggle to return to their homes and lands. Speakers and protesters denounced Israeli crimes, including the killing of dozens of participants in popular marches along the colonial “borders” imposed on the Gaza Strip, including journalists like Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein, and the wounding of thousands.
Charlotte Kates of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network spoke at the demonstration, highlighting the global support for political prisoners and the central role of the Palestinian movement in international struggles for justice, saying that “The Palestinian flag is on the front line of every true anti-fascist, anti-racist struggle in the world today.”
Events in Berlin are continuing on 27 April, with an evening event called “Decolonize Palestine” featuring a speech by Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat on the Palestinian left today and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.