Statement by Georges Abdallah on 37 years of confinement

The following statement was issued by Georges Ibrahim Abdallah as he entered his 37th year of captivity in French prisons. The Lebanese Arab Communist struggler for Palestine addressed his message to the national demonstration outside the prison gates in Lannemezan, France, on 24 October 2020. Over 600 people from across France and internationally joined the mass march to demand his liberation, in conjunction with protests in Beirut, Frankfurt, Ramallah, Gaza, Gothenburg, Geneva and elsewhere.

The following statement is translated from the French original, which can be read here:

At the dawn of this 37th year of captivity, here you are gathered again a few meters from these abominable walls! What emotion and what enthusiasm it brings to know you are so close, in this time of pandemic, confinement and curfew! This solidarity mobilization, in all the diverse expressions of your commitment, brings me a great deal of strength today and warms my heart. Indeed, far from going unnoticed, this united presence leaves no one here indifferent; behind these walls, it creates a very special atmosphere of awakening, enthusiasm and humanity. The echo of your slogans goes beyond the barbed wire and the watchtowers, it resonates in our heads and transports us far from this sinister place.

Comrades, after so many years of captivity, and so many years of solidarity mobilizations, here we are still together, resolutely standing, with unfailing determination, facing this 37th year which promises to be full of struggle and hope.

Certainly you know, Comrades, that it is also thanks to these various solidarity initiatives that we can stand up in these grim places. Years and years of captivity have reinforced my conviction that faced with the policy of annihilation of the imprisoned revolutionary protagonists, it is always in the field of solidarity mobilization that takes up the anti-capitalist / anti-imperialist struggle that we can provide the most significant support to our imprisoned comrades, and thus strengthen their resistance.

Comrades, in these times of crisis, it is clear that the proponents of the domination of capital are seeking by all means to divert the attention of the popular masses from the real questions posed by the general crisis that is shaking the pillars of the system. In this period of pandemic, nothing should make us forget that the fight against Covid-19 is being waged within the framework of capitalism, under the reign of the bourgeoisie, of value and of profit. We all know, Comrades, that this struggle does not suspend the class struggle, but it tries to conceal it with convenient words…

We must understand that those who criticize the management of this “health crisis,” without combating the class domination which propels it, serve to obscure understanding of the problem. It must be said that the propagandists of the system always do what is necessary to deflect the anger of the popular masses, especially in times of crisis. The workers, even the least politicized, know how much the hospital system is suffering today here in France and even much more elsewhere perhaps, due to the stranglehold of finance on hospitals.

Comrades, as you can see, the crisis in the system has spread all over long before the pandemic and will worsen during and after the pandemic. You don’t have to be an expert to see that they are doing everything they can to make the popular masses bear the weight of this crisis, throwing millions of men and women into misery.

From one country to another, the measures recommended in the service of capital are almost always identical: making workers bear the costs of maintaining their moribund system of exploitation. It is clear, Comrades, that these measures only amplify the extent of the disasters and further accentuate the dynamics of the crisis.

Comrades, in order to move forward in the construction of the necessary revolutionary alternative, the convergence of struggles is more than essential. The historic bloc of workers is built and structured in the global dynamics of the struggle in all of its components. It is only together, only together, that the proletarians and the various components of the popular masses of this country may stem and prevent the rising power of all the processes of developing fascism that are underway. Let us encourage, ever more Comrades, the various processes of convergence of struggles at the local level as well as at the regional level and even more so at the international level.

As you can see Comrades, the Arab bourgeoisie, for the most part, is now displaying its unvarnished alignment with the enemy camp. On the one hand, this does not fail to weigh upon the struggle of the Palestinian popular masses, yet, on the other hand, it also affirms the special place of the Palestinian cause as one of the main levers of the Arab revolution. The Palestinian Resistance has and must confront the reactionary Arab-Zionist bloc led by the imperialist powers.

Every day, Palestine teaches us all lessons of self-sacrifice and courage of exceptional significance. More than ever the Palestinian popular masses, in spite of all the treachery of the bourgeoisie, assume their role as the true guarantor of the defense of the interests of the people. Faced with the occupation and the barbarity of the occupier, the first legitimate response that must be displayed above all else is solidarity, all solidarity, with those who by their blood face the armies of occupation.

The conditions of detention in Zionist jails worsen every day, and as you know, Comrades, to face them, international solidarity is an essential weapon. Naturally, the Palestinian popular masses and their revolutionary vanguards can always count on your mobilization and your active solidarity.

May a thousand solidarity initiatives flourish in support of Palestine and its promising Resistance!
May a thousand solidarity initiatives flourish in support of Palestinian Flowers and Lion Cubs!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the resistance fighters, in Zionist jails and in isolation cells in Morocco, Turkey, Greece, the Philippines and elsewhere around the world!
Solidarity, all solidarity with young proletarians from working-class neighborhoods!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the struggling proletarians!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the Yemeni popular masses!
Honor to the Martyrs and to the struggling popular masses!
Down with imperialism and its Zionist and other Arab reactionary watchdogs!
Capitalism is nothing more than barbarism, honor to all those who oppose it in the diversity of their expressions!
Together, Comrades, and it is only together, that we will win!

To all of you Comrades and Friends, my revolutionary greetings.

Your Comrade Georges Abdallah