Hundreds of people marched in Paris, France, on Saturday, 22 June in support of the call to free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine who has been jailed in France for nearly 35 years. The protest, organized by the Unified Campaign to Free Georges Abdallah, brought over 400 people to the heart of Paris from a number of cities. Delegations from Turin, Geneva, Annecy, Toulouse, Charleroi, Brussels, Lille and elsewhere were present, including activists of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a member organization of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
Dozens of collectives, political parties and national and international associations participated, including CLGIA, EuroPalestine, Le Cri Rouge, PIR, JR, NPA, BDS, PCRF, SRI, the Belgian Call, Secours Rouge, AFP, MRAP and many more.
For over two hours, protesters chanted for the liberation of Georges Abdallah, their support for the Palestinian resistance and for the freedom of Palestine from the river to the sea. The march ended with a special message from Georges Abdallah himself from his prison in Lannemezan (see full text below).
Video by Collectif Palestine Vaincra:
The Collectif Palestine Vaincra delivered a speech at the event:
Today, Georges Abdallah, your comrades are here in the streets of Paris!
Today, we once again say loud and clear that resistance to Zionism and imperialism is legitimate!
Resistance is legitimate, like that led by the leaders and fighters of the Palestinian revolution: George Habash, Ghassan Kanafani, Wadie Haddad, Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, Abu Ali Mustafa, Rima and the tens of thousands of fedayeen who gave their lives for this cause.
Resistance is legitimate, like that led by the 5,450 Palestinian prisoners inside the Zionist occupation prisons. To Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi and all of the others, your determination and your courage are an example!
Resistance is legitimate, like that led by the youth of Gaza who, since March 30, 2018, have challenged the Zionist occupation in the Great March of Return. They demonstrate that not only is Oslo dead and buried but that the only way forward for the Palestinian people is the reistance. And that Trump’s new offensive and its “deal of the century” will not change this!
Resistance is legitimate, like that waged by the entire Palestinian people and its organizations against the Bahrain conference being organized next week. This conference aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause with the complicity of Arab reactionary regimes. Do not let them go!
Resistance is legitimate, especially the one led by our comrade Georges Abdallah from the prisons of French imperialism. For 35 years they want to silence him and still he resists!
35 years in prison and Georges Abdallah remains true to who he is: an anti-imperialist fighter and a relentless Arab Communist.
On behalf of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, which has the immense joy of having as honorary members Leila Khaled and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, we call to continue the fight for the liberation of Georges and also to build a solidarity movement for the Palestinian people to support the only fair and just option: a free, democratic Palestine from the river to the sea!
Palestine will win! Free Georges Abdallah!
Georges Abdallah’s statement to the 22 June demonstration:
Dear comrades, dear friends,
In recent times, the popular masses have burst onto the political scene and assert themselves more than ever with enthusiasm and determination.
From one country to another, and more particularly in the countries of the southern periphery of the Mediterranean, the struggle continues to spread and flourish in insurrectional uprisings of a particular type. In waves, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of women, men, young and old from various perspectives take to the streets and gather in public places …
No longer able to remain indifferent to the worsening of their precarious existential conditions, they come out of their torpor as if by magic and call to account those who believed themselves untouchable. And suddenly, a new era begins to form and structure itself before our eyes and so many hopes begin to emerge on the horizon.
Of course, the diversity of expressions in the unity of the struggle, as well as the manifest enthusiasm and determination of the popular masses, cannot make us forget the real contradictions within the movement. The stratification of the working class and its structural weakness, the generalization of existential precariousness, and above all the extent of informal work on a world scale, especially in the southern countries, give the petty bourgeoisie and its various proposals considerable weight at all levels, not just at the political leadership level of the movement.
This suggests to us that the strength of the transition already underway, whether for a longer or shorter time, is always a function of the capacity of the popular masses and the revolutionary protagonists working to succeed in the fight against the hegemony of the bourgeois projects, as well as the reinforcement of the unity of the popular movement.
Which obviously is not an easy task …
Naturally, this situation is part of the extension and flourishing of all these protests, and other revolts (“Hirak”) that have shaped the Arab world for a decade.
It is also part of an international context where inter-imperialist contradictions are exacerbated against the backdrop of the global crisis of the moribund globalized capitalist system. The loss of hegemony of US imperialism at the world level pushes it in its drive towards more aggression vis-à-vis other imperialist poles and especially towards increasingly criminal hostility towards independent states who protest even somewhat against its dominance…
What we see these days, both in the Gulf vis-à-vis Iran and the withdrawal of the nuclear agreement, and in Palestine concerning Zionist colonization, is an expression of this loss of hegemony of an imperialist superpower.
The latter is now unable to manage and control the relations between the various regional powers in the Middle East. It asserts itself, and it is obliged to assert itself, as an enemy of all the peoples of this region. Whatever the suffering it may cause, the popular masses will eventually debunk all the puppets and other potentates at its command in the Gulf and elsewhere in the Arab world.
Comrades, as you see today, the masses in both Algeria and Sudan say loud and clear that there is certainly room for other futures than submission to the diktats of the imperialists and their scavenging guard dogs. .
Comrades, we can not be indifferent to the Palestinian popular masses and the Resistance fighters bravely opposing the barbarity of the Zionist military forces and their hordes of settlers, in particularly difficult conditions.
We can not be indifferent to the place of our communist comrades and our Kurdish comrades who face the fascist regime in Turkey …
We can not be indifferent to the massacres orchestrated by the imperialists through the potentates of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf in Yemen …
Solidarity, all solidarity with Algeria and its popular masses in struggle!
Solidarity, all solidarity with Sudan and its popular masses in struggle!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the Resistance in Zionist jails, and in isolation cells in Morocco, Turkey, Greece, the Philippines and elsewhere in the world!
Solidarity all solidarity with the young proletarians of the popular neighborhoods!
Honor to the Martyrs and the popular masses in struggle!
Down with imperialism and its Zionist watchdogs and other Arab reactionaries!
Capitalism is nothing but barbarism, honor to all those who oppose it in the diversity of their expressions!
Together comrades, and only together, we will win!
To all of you comrades and friends, my warmest revolutionary greetings.
Your friend Georges Abdallah
The Belgian Call to Free Georges Abdallah also presented a statement at the demonstration:
When I saw you in October, in front of the prison gates in Lannemezan, I told you about the arrest in Israel of our friend and comrade Mustapha Awad, a Belgian worker and artist of Palestinian origin.
After 9 months of arbitrary detention, Mustapha has finally been released through the mobilization, among others, of certain sectors of trade union organizations. His first words when he arrived at Zaventem Airport were: “I’ll never be free without the freedom of Georges Abdallah, Ahmad Saadat, Marwan Barghouti and all Palestinian prisoners.”
Comrades, we, too, are not free without their liberation.
This month, Mustapha was finally able to rejoin his family in Lebanon, in Ain al-Helweh, in the camp where he was born. We hope with all our heart that George can also join his as soon as possible.
In March, we traveled to Lebanon with a delegation from the Plat-Forme Charleroi-Palestine. In all our contacts with Palestinians and Lebanese activists, we always found that George is not forgotten. The Collective that fights for his release with his brother Robert, is particularly active and puts pressure on an ongoing basis.
The day we arrived, we learned that an action was taking place in front of the Consulate of France. We demonstrated with the Collective and Robert in the streets of Saida, with banners demanding the release of George. It was during a demonstration in tribute to Marouf Saad, and thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians were present.
Comrades, let’s continue the mobilizations. 35 years of life in prison, 35 years of fighting: let’s free Georges Abdallah!
Below is the statement from the Unified Campaign to Free Georges Abdallah:
Dear comrades and friends,
For the 4th year in a row, at the call of the unitary campaign, we demonstrated together today in Paris to demand once again the release of Georges Abdallah.
It is 35 years since our comrade has been imprisoned by the French imperialist state, despite the fact that he has been eligible for release since 1999 and that several court decisions have been issued for his release.
35 years of judicial harassment and revenge in France but also 35 years of pressure exercised by the Zionist entity and the successive US governments to prevent any liberation of our comrade.
35 years of prison violence and the barbarity of the “little eternity” of life imprisonment.
But Georges Abdallah is also engaged in a lifetime and in particular 35 years of commitment to pursue a struggle – that of a communist, militant anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist, who fought and continues to fight every day.
His is a lifetime and in particular 35 years of affirming a general political line of analysis of this class war that is taking place on a national and international scale. He maintains the closest analysis of the state of the imperialist forces and their contradictions, to unmask and denounce their plans of pillage and domination – as is the case today for example with what is taking place today in the Arab world in general and Palestine in particular through the “great deal of the century” orchestrated by US imperialism, under cover of the reactionary countries of the region. This is yet another attempt to liquidate the Palestinian cause and the just and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Georges Abdallah has shown a lifetime – and in particular 35 years of internationalist commitment alongside the Palestinian resistance and its lion cubs, and also alongside all struggling peoples who resist capitalism, imperialism, Zionism, colonialism, Arab reactionary states and all forms of oppression.
Georges Abdallah has spent his whole life and 35 years in particular in condemnation of the moribund and dying capitalist system and with unconditional support for the global dynamics moving the ongoing struggle forward.
His is a lifetime and 35 years of refusal of any reformism and any illusory compromise to try to safeguard the achievements of a so-called democratic “capitalism with a human face” and it is 35 years of proclaiming the relentless struggle of “class against class”, alongside the masses and in the popular neighborhoods.
Georges Abdallah’s is a lifetime and 35 years of vigilance and hard struggle against any form of fascism, racism and state violence.
His is a lifetime and 35 years of affirming another future and that the agony of this system will end only in the overtaking of capitalism towards socialism and communism.
Georges Abdallah’s life is also that of 35 years of solidarity with the revolutionary prisoners and in particular with Palestinian political prisoners.
It is, in this case, 35 years of refusal to believe in “little legal tricks here and there” to break the relentlessness of a class judiciary actually in the hands of the ruling class politics, which in the name of the urgencies of state violates its own laws; it’s 35 years of determination that it is by changing the balance of power that we can succeed in liberating our comrades of the claws of the enemy.
Georges Abdallah’s life reflects 35 years of appeals for a thousand solidarity initiatives to flourish and inspiring a mobilization that continues to strengthen and expand; a mobilization that rests
now on a strong network of activists and active supporters, who aim to win over an increasingly wide spectrum of public opinion on a local, national and international level.
Georges Abdallah, to conclude, has lived a whole life of struggle and 35 years of determination and belief that it is together and only together, in diverse expressions of solidarity, in the coordination and intensification of the united mobilizations, that we will win.
YES, ABDALLAH, IS OUR COMRADE!
HIS IS OUR STRUGGLE! WE ARE IN THE BATTLE! FREEDOM FOR ABDALLAH!
PALESTINE LIVES! PALESTINE WILL WIN! FREE GEORGES ABDALLAH!
DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM, ZIONISM AND THE REACTIONARY ARAB REGIMES!
Unified Campaign ffor the Liberation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah