Saturday, 19 January
Nottingham Protest to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian Political Prisoners
Nottingham Revolutionary Communist Group is joining the international week of action called by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network to Free the Political Prisoner Ahmad Sa’adat and all political prisoners.
“The Palestinian people are determined to continue the intifada for all of the national rights of our people. This position is naturally consistent with the struggle of all progressive global forces confronting global imperial arrogance and struggling for independence, self-determination and liberation, for social justice, equality and socialism, based on a fair distribution of the wealth and human principles of peace, rejection of war, imperialism and all forms of oppression and exploitation…” – Ahmad Sa’adat
On Saturday 19 January, Join us in a collective call for the freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian Prisoners. Join us to demand an end to British support for the Israeli occupation that has been confiscating land and lives for over 70 years. Join us outside Marks & Spencer, Britain’s biggest corporate sponsor of the Zionist Israeli state and a symbol of Britain’s support for Israel.
Freedom for all political prisoners! Freedom for Palestine! Victory to the Intifada!
This will be an anti-racist protest – all anti-racist groups and individuals are welcome to join us and bring your own placards/ literature or borrow some we have prepared. We will have an open microphone so please feel free to prepare something to say. If you would like to learn more about the situation in Palestine and in particular the situation for prisoners, feel free to come along to find out more.
More information about Marks & Spencer’s role in supporting Israel below and more info about Ahmad Sa’adat here:
Ahmad Sa’adat is a prominent Palestinian national liberation and international left leader, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
15 January 2019 marks the 17th anniversary of Sa’adat’s arrest by the Palestinian Authority in the context of “security cooperation” with the Israeli occupation. After a violent attack on the PA’s Jericho prison in 2006, where Sa’adat was held under United States and British guards, Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades are serving lengthy sentences in Israeli prisons. Sa’adat was sentenced to 30 years in prison, convicted in an Israeli military court of leading a prohibited organization and “incitement.”
Sa’adat is a leader in the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the Palestinian national liberation movement. He is a figure of international importance and political clarity, targeted behind bars in an attempt to isolate him from his political role. He stands alongside nearly 6,000 fellow Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails on the front lines of the liberation struggle. As such, he is a symbol of Palestinian, Arab and internationalist resistance to capitalism, racism, apartheid and colonization.
The case of Ahmad Sa’adat also clearly highlights the complicity of international powers in the occupation and colonization of Palestine. He and his comrades were held for years under U.S. and British guards in a Palestinian Authority prison – and those guards moved away in a prearranged agreement to allow the Israeli occupation army to attack Jericho prison in 2006. The support of the United States, Britain, Canada, the European Union, Australia and others for the Israeli colonial project continues to perpetuate its impunity as it carries out land confiscations, home demolitions, mass imprisonment, extrajudicial executions, the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, the siege on Gaza and further crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The Palestinian Authority kidnapped Sa’adat under false pretenses and imprisoned him for four years before its prison was attacked by the Israeli occupation. This is part and parcel of the policy of “security coordination” that has led to the repeated imprisonment of Palestinians for their political involvement by the PA. Despite critical words, the policy remains firmly in place – with devastating and deadly consequences for Palestinians, as seen in the case of Basil al-Araj.
Why protest outside M&S?
Britain has been responsible for racist oppression of Palestine for over 100 years- in 1917 the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, which called for “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, despite the huge majority of Palestinians being against this. After decades of British rule, this lead to the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1947/8. Today Britain continues to support Israel, militarily, economically and politically– for example, £221m in arms export licenses were issued last year alone.
Marks and Spencer is a key British supporter of Israel.
Marks and Spencer annually sell approximately £240 million worth of Israeli goods, including grapes, lychees, fresh figs, plums, dates, Hass avocados, fresh herbs, Sweet potatoes, potatoes, red peppers, suits and underwear. M&S stocks goods produced by Israeli companies like Delta – selling a reported 51% of Delta clothing.
They have also been marked with a long history of political support for the state of Israel and the Zionist movement:
In 1941 Israel Sieff, M&S Chairman, advocated ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians: ‘large sections of the Arab population of Palestine should be transplanted to Iraq and other Middle Eastern States’ (Jewish Chronicle 21/9/1941).
In 1990 Marcus Sieff, M&S Chairman, wrote that M&S sees ‘aiding the economic development of Israel as one of its fundamental objectives’.
In 1998 Marks and Spencer CEO Richard Greenbury received the Jubilee Award for services to Israel.
In 2004 chief executive Stuart Rose was guest of honour to the British Israeli Chamber of Commerce annual dinner as reward for ongoing support for Israel.
In 2014 M&S chiefs attended events in London organised by David Cameron to counter the boycott and to strengthen trade with Israel.
We call for the complete boycott of M&S, as a symbol of boycotting British state and corporate support for the vicious Zionist state. Join us.