The Republican Network for Unity, an Irish anti-colonial movement, issued the following statement in support of Palestinian political prisoners. It was presented to participants in the program on 100 years of struggle against Zionism and colonialism organized by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, Victory to the Intifada, Samidoun, the Revolutionary Communist Group and others at SOAS in London on 17 April 2018:
The Republican Network of Unity sends solidarity greetings to Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, his family, and all Palestinian political prisoners held in Zionist jails in the Middle East and abroad. While we, the Republican Network for Unity, support all Palestinian political prisoners, we particularly call for the immediate release of Ahmad Sa’adat, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, and Ahed Tamimi.
Ahmad Sa’adat is a symbol for the most progressive and revolutionary forces in the Middle East. This is the very reason why Sa’adat is interned by the Zionist forces.
The fight of the Palestinian people against the Israeli Zionist occupation and oppression is highly supported in Ireland. Throughout the 20th century, the Arab people and the Irish people have fought a similar struggle against imperialist interference, partition, and oppression in our homelands. In the 1970s, the United Nations facilitated the first direct contacts between the Irish Republican Movement and PLO. Since then, the common struggles of our people have united us in our political activism.
However, in recent decades, sections of the revolutionary people’s movement in our countries have made arrangements with the forces occupying, dividing, and imprisoning our people. Under those circumstances, the progressive, secular, and truly revolutionary forces in our countries are small but the tasks are even bigger.
As the tragic events in Gaza over the past few weeks have shown us, the Israeli aggressors are not reluctant to use lethal force on a wide scale against suffering people. In this situation, it is our task to support the revolutionary forces that fight against this aggression in defence of her people.
Thus, we want to thank the organisers of today’s event for inviting the Republican Network for Unity and giving us the chance to deliver this message of solidarity. We hope that we can use this event to build strong links of solidarity between our movement and the Palestinian liberation movement.
The Republican Network for Unity celebrated its tenth anniversary in autumn 2017. However, the past twelve months have seen important changes for our organisation. In the past months, we embarked on a new road. This new road shall build our organisation as a relevant and vital community organisation throughout Ireland.
We consider the years 2017 and 2018 as a new beginning for our movement. One part of this new beginning is establishing strong and vital links to people and organisations fighting oppression, imperialism, and political imprisonment worldwide. Therefore, we offer our hand of solidarity to all international groups and individuals who are currently fighting imperialism, colonialism, and oppression.
As the recent imperialist bombings of Syria, Yemen, and many other countries have sadly proven, imperialism is a well-connected international system. This international system of oppression cannot be defeated either in Palestine or in Ireland alone. The same way imperialist powers are united against the people, revolutionary forces all over the world need to unite in their fight against imperialism and oppression. We can only be victorious if we organise worldwide!
In the past centuries, Ireland has suffered more than her fair share of oppression.
Today, there are still Irish people imprisoned for their political convictions. Some of the prisoners are members of our movement and represented by the Irish Republican prisoners group Cogús.
While we unconditionally support the release of all Palestinian political prisoners, we ask our international comrades also to support the release of all Irish Republican prisoners, in particular the Craigavon 2 and Tony Taylor.
The tasks for revolutionaries in Ireland and Palestine in the 21st century are enormous and the forces of our enemies seem overwhelmingly. But we are convinced that if we build strong links of friendship between our people, together we shall be victorious! Long live international solidarity! Freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat!