The Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a member organization of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, recently completed a delegation to Lebanon, where members visited the Palestinian refugee camps and participated in several events to demand freedom for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. Abdallah is a Lebanese Arab revolutionary for Palestine who has been jailed in France for 35 years, despite being eligible for release since 1999.
A full report of the delegation is available in French at the Collectif Palestine Vaincra website. On the first day of the delegation, Friday, 12 July, a representative of the collective spoke at a packed hall in Saida, Lebanon, where over 200 people came to the Maarouf Saad Cultural Center to demand freedom for Georges Abdallah.
They were joined by Osama Saad, a Lebanese parliamentarian and a Nasserite, who also expressed his support for Khaled Barakat, the Palestinian journalist and leftist confronting a political ban on his speeches in Germany.
Delegates also participated on Saturday, 13 July in a cultural festival organized by te Lebanese Communist Party, where many people expressed support for Georges Abdallah, demanding his immediate release by the French state.
On Sunday, 14 July – the French national day – over 100 protesters gathered outside the official residence of the French ambassador to Lebanon to call for freedom for Georges Abdallah.
There was a heavy police and security presence keeping protesters away from the location, but participants rallied for over an hour. Anwar Yassin, a former prisoner of the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon released in a prisoner exchange after 17 years of detention, spoke to demand Abdallah’s liberation.
Delegates met with the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon on Monday, 15 July. The campaign is a major part of the struggle against normalization in Lebanon, carrying out a number of campaigns targeting multinational corporations as well as cultural boycott efforts.
They interviewed Samah Idriss of the Campaign about the relationship of boycott to all forms of struggle to liberate Palestine:
They also visited Qubaiyat, a village in Northern Lebanon where Georges Abdallah grew up as a child. The delegates met with the Abdallah family who expressed their ongoing commitment to the struggle to liberate their beloved brother imprisoned for 35 years in France.
The delegates also met with artist Hind Nehme in Tripoli, who painted a mural for Georges Abdallah on one of Tripoli’s main streets.
The delegation coincided with a rise in protests throughout the Palestinian refugee camps in response to the repressive attacks by the Lebanese labor minister against Palestinian workers and businesses in the camp.
Delegates were able to join Palestinian refugees in Ain el-Helweh for the ongoing strike and protests against the repression directed at “foreign workers,” including the Palestinian refugees denied their right to return to Palestine since 1948, when they were forced to flee to Lebanon by Zionist occupation forces during the Nakba.
During the visit, delegates met with a number of political organizations, including the Lebanese Communist Party and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and social organizations, such as the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation, the Social Solidarity Association and many others, during which they shared copies of Collectif Palestine Vaincra’s charter in Arabic.
On the final day of the trip, the delegates traveled to south Lebanon and the border with occupied Palestine, where they visited the Museum of the Resistance in Mleeta, commemorating the victories of the Lebanese resistance in the 2006 war against the Israeli attack on Lebanon. They closed the visit with a declaration: “Support for the resistance for the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea!”