Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network joined the welcome for Ahed Tamimi and call for a free Palestine in Madrid on 29 September. Samidoun international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, spoke alongside former Palestinian child prisoner and anti-colonial land defense activist Ahed Tamimi at the annual 2018 Fiesta, organized by the Communist Party of Spain. The event was attended by large crowds of enthusiastic supporters of the Palestinian cause.
The Fiesta event was part of Ahed Tamimi’s whirlwind tour around Europe after her release from Israeli prison; she and her family were originally blocked from leaving occupied Palestine by the Israeli occupation before she, her mother Nariman – a fellow political prisoner, her father Bassem and her two younger brothers joined their tour. Ahed and the Tamimi family spoke in cities across France and Athens, Greece before participating in several events in Spain.
Kates presented at an afternoon event celebrating Ahed and supporting the Palestinian liberation struggle. Also speaking at the event were Manu Pineda, international relations chair of the Communist Party of Spain; Bassem Tamimi, Ahed’s father and a long-time land defense organizer in the village of Nabi Saleh; and Ahed herself, who was greeted with immense enthusiasm by the crowds in Madrid.
Full event video:
Ahed emphasized that Palestinians would continue to resist and seek freedom and liberation for Palestine, part of the international struggle for justice and liberation. She asked for more international solidarity, more boycotts of Israel and more support to help Palestinians achieve their freedom, identifying the forces of capitalism as those who are suppressing the rights of people around the world. Enthusiastic chants of “Que viva la lucha del pueblo palestino”! followed the speeches.
After the event, Ahed expressed her support for the Week of Action to Free Georges Abdallah:
The text of Kates’ speech is below:
Thank you and salutes to the Communist Party of Spain and to all of you here in the Spanish state who struggle for a free Palestine, for Ahed to be free, to build BDS in municipalities across the country.
As we celebrate Ahed Tamimi’s freedom here today, there are 6000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails
They are men and women, children and elders, workers and farmers, teachers and students. They represent the breadth and depth of the Palestinian people and their resistance movement.
And so as we come here today, in all of our strength, as Ahed tours through Europe meeting crowds of people who stand with her and the struggle, we also face a world in which Trump and Netanyahu stand at the pulpit of the United Nations to threaten war on Iran, on Venezuela and even more war on Palestine
And in this world of oppression and imperialism, where we confront Zionism, imperialism, reactionary regimes and the most brutal forms of capitalism, Ahed Tamimi stands as a symbol of all that is human and just and that represents the will to live and thrive despite oppression, killing and murder.
Ahed is indeed a symbol, but more than a symbol, Ahed is a human, a fighter, a daughter, a girl, a young woman who has sacrificed for Palestine – and for all of us.
Like all 6,000 of those Palestinian prisoners, Ahed represents the Palestinian resistance.
It is that resistance that the Israeli state and its occupation have tried to criminalize.
It is that resistance that the countries of the European Union attack, threatening to defund schools that bear the names of resistance leaders.
But we stand with the Palestinian resistance! Palestinians have a right to resist occupation and oppression by any means necessary.
Every week, Palestinians in Gaza march to the “borders” in the Great March of Return. Just yesterday, 6 Palestinians’ lives were taken by the occupation army as they marched to demand their fundamental right to return to their homes.
Israel was established on the dispossession of the Palestinian people and the theft of their land and it is a settler-colonial apartheid project.
Israel is a racist project, and if we are going to fight racism, we need to stand with the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation!
We hear a lot about the need for Palestinian leadership and Palestinian unity, and we hear a lot about how there’s not clear representation for Palestinians.
But there is a clear Palestinian leadership – and it is behind Israeli bars. It is in the prisons, it is in the refugee camps, it is those who march for freedom, return and liberation.
And so as we celebrate one part of that resistance here today, we raise the name of some of the other Palestinians – the leaders of the Palestinian struggle and the leaders of our international social justice movement: Ahmad Sa’adat, Khalida Jarrar, Marwan Barghouthi, Khader Adnan and there are 6,000 more struggling for freedom and leading the Palestinian struggle.
And we also we raise the name of Georges Abdallah, imprisoned for 34 years in French prison as a struggler for Palestinian freedom.
We remember the words of Ghassan Kanafani: Palestine today is not a cause for Palestinians only. It is a cause for every revolutionary, the cause of the oppressed and exploited masses of our era.
And so we stand today to say: Freedom for Ahed! Free Palestine – freedom from the river to the sea! Because the fight of Palestine represents all who stand for justice and liberation and those who fight capitalism, racism and oppression.
Boycott Israel! Viva, viva Palestina!