2020 has been a year of great challenges for the Palestinian movement and all movements for justice and liberation. Despite those challenges, the campaign for justice and freedom for Palestine and the Palestinian prisoners is expanding, building and mobilizing.
As Palestinians – especially Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, already denied healthcare and subjected to medical neglect – face the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic under siege, occupation and colonization, organizers in Palestine and internationally have aimed to develop innovative mechanisms to mobilize, confront imperialism and Zionism and stand with the Palestinian liberation struggle. Over 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails are on the front lines of it.
For Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, despite its challenges, this has been a year of growth, building and struggle to escalate the movement to support Palestinian prisoners and the liberation of Palestine. During 2020, we have organized dozens of virtual and in-person actions, launched four new chapters around the world, mobilized in defense of Palestinian prisoners and joined with comrades in the struggle to fight imperialism, achieve racial justice, Black liberation and indigenous sovereignty.
We know that 2021 can be an even stronger, bigger year of struggle for Palestine. Your support, involvement and engagement have made 2020 a time of rising mobilization to support Palestinian prisoners, to build solidarity in our communities and to stand with Palestinians’ right to resist, right to return and right to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea. We are working to build the movement to boycott Israel and confront complicit corporations profiteering from colonization. We stand with the Palestinian prisoners and the entire Palestinian people’s struggle for liberation – and with all of those around the world confronting imperialism, capitalism, Zionism and reactionary repression.
Thank you for all of those who have supported Samidoun in 2020. This includes your financial support, but also your organizing, campaigning and mobilization for Palestine. In order to build our collective movement for justice, we must be bigger and broader, and work together even more closely, as we build collective power for liberation in Palestine and at a global level.
As we prepare for our next year of struggle, we ask for your support once again. As an international network that relies on grassroots funding, without staff or institutional support, we need the solidarity of the people, organizations and movements dedicated to our collective vision of justice and liberation for our work to continue to grow.
Thanks to the fiscal sponsorship of the Alliance for Global Justice, your contribution to Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is now tax-deductible for those who pay U.S. taxes. People from around the world can donate safely and securely to support our efforts to organize events and demonstrations, bring the stories and experiences of Palestinian prisoners to the world, publish advocacy materials and keep our website running. We can only do this with your support, and every donation of any size is essential to building together for the future.
As we prepare to march forward into 2021, we ask you to consider donating to Samidoun today and supporting us as we grow bigger, stronger, broader and bolder in advancing the voices and demands of the Palestinian prisoners and building the movement for Palestine.
Click here to support Samidoun’s work as we mark a year of struggle and look forward to a new year of growth and liberation.
Alternately, checks and money orders may be written and mailed to:
225 E. 26th St., Ste. 1
Tucson, A.Z. 85713-2925
Below is a brief overview of just some of our work during 2020:
Growing and Building the Movement for Palestinian Prisoners
In 2020, at least four new Samidoun chapters were officially launched – Samidoun Stockholm, Samidoun Deutschland, Samidoun España and Samidoun Brasil. These join our existing chapters and organizers in Palestine, the United States, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, Sweden and elsewhere to organize events and actions and mobilize communities to defend Palestinian prisoners and support the Palestinian liberation struggle.
We look forward to launching even more chapters, membership initiatives and campaigns in 2021, and we invite you to join us!
Days of Rage: Confronting Annexation and the “Deal of the Century”
Samidoun Network in occupied Palestine issued a call for action for 1 July 2020, which brought together organizations and activists around the world. Dozens of organizations endorsed the call and organized events in cities globally under the slogan, “No to Annexation, No to Zionism!” Thousands of people took to the streets, in marches, car caravans, distanced protest actions and even online and social media protests, to stand together in the Days of Rage, including organizations like the Palestinian Youth Movement, Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, NY4Palestine and National Students for Justice in Palestine. From Ramallah to New York, from Detroit to San Diego, from Toulouse to Madrid, Palestinian community and youth organizations, solidarity movements and internationalists came together to march against the threat of annexation and the ongoing colonization of Palestine.
Marching Forward: Days of Resistance for Palestine
Building on the tremendous momentum produced by the Days of Rage, the Days of Resistance for Palestine between 7-9 August 2020 brought together over 100 organizations and thousands of people around the world to stand together with the Palestinian people to confront imperialism, normalization and Zionism. Despite attacks from high-level Israeli officials that aimed to suppress these actions, noting that they had “warned Western governments” about the protests, over 100 organizations joined Samidoun’s call for the Days of Resistance, with an array of diverse actions taking place around the world. These events included protests, car caravans, art and cultural interventions and public educational events, all in support of the Palestinian people and their right to resist.
Raising Our Voices: Building Virtually, Connecting Organizers
Throughout 2020, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organized and participated in dozens of webinars and virtual events and actions for Palestine. These events, conducted in English, Arabic, French, German and Spanish, built transnational connections among Palestinian communities working for a revolutionary alternative for the Palestinian future, provided political education and development for Samidoun members and the movement more broadly, connected with justice movements from around the world and escalated our collective conversations in support of Palestinian liberation. These online events have come in addition to our social media campaigns, conducted in alliance with dozens of other organizations, that have reached millions of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels.
Samidoun in Occupied Palestine: Organizing for Liberation
In 2020, Samidoun in occupied Palestine organized a number of events and actions, including protests, press conferences and events, mobilizing Palestinian youth and students, former prisoners, political organizations and activists to march against annexation, resist normalization and organize in defense of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. Samidoun in occupied Palestine issued the call for the Day of Rage on 1 July that echoed around the world, while playing a leading role in organizing dozens of online workshops in Arabic that brought together Palestinian communities in exile and diaspora with those inside Palestine to discuss a revolutionary vision for the future of the Palestinian movement.
Fighting Repression: Standing Up for Palestine
In 2020, Samidoun was engaged in struggles against attempts to suppress the movement for Palestine — inside occupied Palestine and around the world. We have ourselves been targeted by Israel’s so-called “Ministry of Strategic Affairs” for a series of attacks – precisely because of our work to highlight the ongoing struggles of Palestinian political prisoners against torture, abuse and unjust detention. We also recognize that Zionist repression is not separate from the attempts to suppress movements for justice in Palestine – and other movements for justice and liberation – internationally. We have built the campaign in solidarity with Khaled Barakat, expelled from Germany for his advocacy for Palestine, and worked with many other groups in Germany to challenge anti-Palestinian repression and fight back against the criminalization of the boycott movement. We have highlighted the case of Issam Hijjawi Bassalat and the Saoradh 9, arrested by the British state in an attempt to target both Palestinian and Irish movements. Most recently, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra – a member organization of the Samidoun Network – has faced threats and attacks from far-right Zionist forces. In 2021, we will continue our efforts to fight back against repression and expand our campaigns for justice.
Hungry for Justice: Supporting Palestinian Prisoners’ Hunger Strikes and Actions
There are over 4,500 Palestinian political prisoners on the front lines of struggle, confronting threats to their lives and health – not to mention brutal torture under interrogation – on a daily basis. In January 2020, we started the year campaigning for Ahmad Zahran, jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention, who conducted a hunger strike for 113 days. We mobilized events, actions and social media campaigns in support of Maher al-Akhras, whose victory after 103 days of hunger strike inspired artists, organizers, lawyers and advocates for justice around the world to take a stand, protest and launch solidarity hunger strikes.
Break the Siege on Gaza! International Actions for the March of Return
Samidoun joined with the Higher National Commission of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege in Gaza, Palestine to launch a call for action on the second anniversary of the Great Return March in Gaza in March 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced the transformation of this week of action into a virtual campaign, dozens of organizations, political parties and solidarity groups around the world endorsed the action and joined the “Cyber March of Return,” reaching millions of people on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and keeping the siege on Gaza and the struggle for the right to return of all Palestinian refugees at the forefront of the struggle. Samidoun continued organizing to break the siege on Gaza, organizing a Madrid protest to support Palestinian fishers in November.
Week of Palestinian Struggle Commemorates the Nakba, Continuing Resistance
In May 2020, dozens of organizations responded to Samidoun’s call for the Week of Palestinian Struggle, organizing actions, protests, online events, boycott campaigns and mobilizations to commemorate the Nakba and the ongoing struggle for Palestinian liberation. “For decades, the Palestinian people’s movement has commemorated 15 May and the week that follows as a week of solidarity, resistance and struggle, affirming a revolution that will continue until victory. This week marks the Palestinian, Arab and international struggle for justice and liberation, a struggle that has continued for 72 years and continues every day. As the Nakba continues, the resistance continues!” As part of the week, Samidoun joined with 100 organizations in a statement initiated by Palestinian youth and students, including Samidoun in occupied Palestine and in the diaspora, demanding an end to the path of Madrid and Oslo and declaring that “the Palestinian leadership must go!”
Prisoners’ Action Weeks: Organizing for Ahmad Sa’adat, Khitam Saafin, Georges Abdallah and all prisoners’ liberation
Of course, 2020 was also a year of building and expanding our core work: solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. In January 2020, we joined with the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat for the Weeks of Action to Free Ahmad Sa’adat – an initiative we’re spearheading again in 2021. We organized online and in-person protests for student and youth prisoners, including Tareq Matar, Mays Abu Ghosh and Samah Jaradat, throughout the year, and in April 2020, we commemorated Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with a week of action, joining with a number of organizations for the #WeAreWithYou online campaign and producing a series of educational resources, graphics and posters throughout the week.
The annual march in Lannemezan to free Georges Ibrahim Abdallah on 24 October brought over 600 people – the largest crowd yet – to demand freedom for the Lebanese Communist jailed in France for 36 years for his involvement in the Palestinian liberation struggle. And in November 2020, we joined with a group of organizations, including the US Palestinian Community Network, the National Lawyers Guild, Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Mobilization, the Palestinian Youth Movement and Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine, to mobilize two days of action to free Khitam Saafin, the imprisoned Palestinian women’s leader and president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.
Global Solidarity for Justice and Liberation
At the heart of Samidoun’s work remains an anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist vision of justice and liberation. This means that we cannot struggle for justice for Palestine alone, but that it is critical to support the Black Liberation movement, Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination movements like the work of the Red Nation, and anti-imperialist movements around the world and within imperialist countries. We organize to free political prisoners in the U.S., UK, Canada, France and elsewhere, including the prisoners of the Black Liberation Movement as well as Palestinian prisoners like the Holy Land Five and Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, and work in solidarity with prisoners’ struggles from Morocco to Turkey to the Philippines. This year, our work included support for Black Liberation movements, joining protests and actions, highlighting the history of Black-Palestinian collective struggle and participating in building and rebuilding those deep links of resistance and revolution.
Together, we look forward to marching together into 2021, to build a stronger, deeper, more vibrant movement for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners and for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.