Video: Steadfastness and Resistance – the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the case...

Video: Steadfastness and Resistance – the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the case of Ahmad Sa’adat

On Saturday, 16 January, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organized a webinar as part of the Week of Action to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners. The webinar, “Steadfastness and Resistance: The Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the case of Ahmad Sa’adat,” focused on the imprisonment of Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat and the revolutionary legacy and ongoing struggle of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement. The video is also available on YouTube and Facebook.

Samidoun international coordinator Charlotte Kates introduced the program, which included simultaneous French translation for online attendees, provided by Collectif Palestine Vaincra, with a brief introduction to Sa’adat’s case.

The General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Sa’adat is currently serving a 30-year sentence in Israeli prisons; he was kidnapped in a violent attack by occupation forces on the Palestinian Authority prison where he was held under “security coordination” with the Israeli occupation, with the involvement of U.S., British, Canadian and Turkish guards. Therefore, his case reflects the devastating role of the Palestinian Authority and the Oslo process for the Palestinian cause, as well as the direct involvement of imperialism in the subjugation and repression of the Palestinian people.

Hadeel Shatara, the coordinator of Samidoun Network in Occupied Palestine, spoke first on the program, addressing the ongoing reality of PA security coordination with Israel and how this is reflected in political repression and imprisonment directed at Palestinian resisters and activists, including student organizers, women’s movement organizers and community leaders. She addressed the types of charges  levied by the PA in political cases, including false allegations of “sectarian practices” and fomenting social division, or defamation of political officials and those in high positions. She emphasized that these repressive practices were directly tied to the PA’s role as an intercessor for Israeli colonialism and Zionist domination, tied to the Israeli security forces and directly sharing information about Palestinian organizers and resistance movements.

She was followed by Lena Meari, noted Palestinian scholar of decolonization, resistance and political captivity, and the author of “Sumud: A Palestinian Philosophy of Confrontation in Israeli Prisons.” An assistant professor of Anthropology at the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, she was born in Haifa to a refugee family from Al-Birweh village.

In her incisive presentation, Lena Meari addressed the resistance, self-organization and anti-colonial struggle of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees, highlighting the history, development and present situation of Palestinian hunger strikes, resistance to interrogation and refusal to confess as part of the practice of sumud within Israeli prisons and under interrogation. She emphasized the political and anti-colonial leadership of Palestinian prisoners, emphasizing that solidarity campaigns must not represent these strugglers as victims in need of aid, but as freedom fighters in a liberation movement.

The concluding speaker was Mohammed Khatib, coordinator of Samidoun in Europe, who spoke about the importance of supporting Palestinian resistance and upholding Palestinians’ right to resist, return and liberate their land. He read a statement issued by Ahmad Sa’adat about the case of Omar Nayef Zayed, emphasizing once again the connections between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and imperialist powers in repressing Palestinian struggle. He noted the importance of Palestinian organization and pursuit of an alternative path of resistance for liberation, calling for a boycott of the PA elections earlier called for by PA president Mahmoud Abbas.

The engaging and wide-ranging discussion addressed a number of topics, including the growing call to return to the full boycott of the Knesset elections in the Israeli colonial project, scheduled for March 2021, the need to center the right to return and the right to resist in boycott campaigns, and the history of the Palestinian revolutionary movement alongside anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements, especially those in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Lena Meari concluded the event with a stirring call for “radical solidarity” that embraces resistance and revolutionary politics, emphasizing that “solidarity with the Palestinian cause is also solidarity with yourself,” against all forms of exploitation and oppression.

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On 15-23 January 2021, join Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in a collective call for the freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners, with action and global solidarity to escalate the boycott of Israel, end aid and support to Israel, organize for justice in Palestine and resist imperialism and colonialism.

Upcoming Events

Join these events and actions for the Week of Action to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and send your events to us at samidoun@samidoun.net!

Sunday, 17 January – Manchester, Britain: Street Stall – Free all Palestinian prisoners! Free Issam Hijjawi! 12 Noon,  Outside Morrisons, Wilbraham Road,  Chorlton, Manchester M21 0UA. More info: https://samidoun.net/event/manchester-street-stall-free-all-palestinian-prisoners-free-issam-hijjawi/

Saturday, 23 January – Online Event – Liberation vs Dependency: Strategies to Defeat Neoliberalism and Colonialism in Algeria, South Africa, and Palestine. 11 am Pacific – 2 pm Eastern – 9 pm Palestine. Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/722789698392609/

Sunday, 24 January – Paris, France – Protest to free Ahmad Sa’adat, Georges Abdallah, and all Palestinian prisoners! 3:00 pm, Place Jean Ferrat – Metro L2 Menilmontant, Paris, France
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1135211573605908