Report: “Free Georges Abdallah!” heard worldwide during Week of Action

Report: “Free Georges Abdallah!” heard worldwide during Week of Action

From Austin to Paris, Toulouse to Gaza, Vancouver to Tunis, organizations and activists protested, marched and organized to free Georges Abdallah between 12 and 19 June. The International Week of Action to Free Georges Abdallah, called for by the Unitary Campaign for the Liberation of Georges Abdallah, included film screenings, demonstrations and other events to free the imprisoned Lebanese Communist revolutionary and struggler for Palestinian liberation. Imprisoned in France since 1984, he is today Europe’s longest-held political prisoner.

Georges Abdallah himself delivered a statement for the Week of Action, saluting the ongoing struggle in Palestine, including among Palestinian political prisoners. Abdallah has regularly participated in the actions of imprisoned Palestinians while behind bars in France, including refusing meals in support of collective hunger strikes in Israeli jails.

His story is chronicled in the new film, Fedayin: The Struggle of Georges Abdallah, screened in cities across France, Switzerland, Italy and Tunisia as part of the Week of Action.

Fedayin is available in French, English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and German (with subtitles). The film is available for screening — to organize a screening, please contact Vacarmes Films at vacarmesfilms@gmail.com. Please also feel free to reach out to Samidoun at samidoun@samidoun.net if you are interested in organizing a screening of Fedayin.

Screenings of the film have been announced for 25 June in Tarbes, France30 June in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and 1 July in Geneva.

These are some of the many events that took place around the world as part of the week of action.

France

On Saturday, 19 June, hundreds marched in Paris for a national demonstration for Georges Abdallah’s liberation. Organized by the Unitary campaign for the Liberation of Georges Abdallah, Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists, organizations fighting repression and revolutionary leftists marched together to demand Abdallah’s immediate release.

The march, from Place des Fêtes to République, went through working-class neighborhoods and received a strongly supportive reception from the public.

Many people stepped onto their balconies to show support for the march. Participants handed out over 1000 leaflets and collected hundreds of signed cards calling for Abdallah’s liberation.

Also on Saturday, 19 June, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra in Toulouse organized a Palestine Stand at the Capitole metro station. Large crowds of supporters joined the stand, distributing French and Arabic flyers demanding Georges Abdallah’s release. Participants delivered a number of speeches highlighting Georges Abdallah’s struggle and history as well as solidarity with Palestine and the Palestinian resistance.

Dozens of people took solidarity photos to show their support for Abdallah and expressed enthusiasm for joining campaigns to boycott Israel and complicit corporations like Teva, Puma and AXA. The event concluded with Palestinian music and dabkeh performances.

On 19 June in Aix-en-Provence, Jeunes Communistes, Resistance and Solidarity, and BDS France Marseille organized an evening of solidarity with Palestine, focusing on Georges Abdallah. The event included a screening of “Fedayin” followed by a discussion on Palestinian resistance.

Also on 19 June, the Campaign BDS France Montpellier organized a stand and literature distribution urging freedom for Georges Abdallah and justice and liberation for Palestine.

In Vic-en-Bigorre on 19 June, activists posted an information display highlighting the case of Georges Abdallah and calling for his immediate liberation. Activists in Istres also organized a Facebook live event in solidarity with Abdallah.

These events built on actions and interventions throughout the week in France. On 17 and 18 June in La Clusaz, union activists at the 37th Congress of the CGT Haute-Savoie trade union federation spoke, calling for the liberation of Georges Abdallah. The CGT local in Annecy and the surrounding region also endorsed the national demonstration in Paris and the call for the week of action.

In Toulouse on 18 June, Collectif Palestine Vaincra showed solidarity with Georges Abdallah and Palestinian political prisoners with tagged messages demanding their liberation as well as guerilla bus station posters highlighting Georges Abdallah.

This followed the Collectif’s delegation to visit Georges Abdallah in Lannemezan prison on 17 June, where he expressed his support to the Palestinian resistance and political prisoners.

On 16 June in Lyon, Jeunes Revolutionnaires hung banners and created graffiti messages demanding Georges Abdallah’s liberation.

In Paris on Saturday, 12 June, after participating in an antifascist demonstration, an evening in support of Georges Abdallah was held at the Librarie Resistances. Said Bouamama presented his book, L’Affaire Georges Abdallah, followed by a screening of “Fedayin”.

Meanwhile in Annecy on 12 June, 250 people joined a march against fascism, austerity and repression, while many participants declared their support for Georges Abdallah.

The week also included multiple additional screenings of “Fedayin” in several French locations. In Tremblay-en-France, the Festival Cine-Palestine organized a screening of Fedayin on 12 June. On 11 June, organizations in Port-de-Bouc organized a screening, accompanied by a Lebanese meal and discussions.

On 10 June, the activities of the week kicked off in Marseille with a screening of Fedayin organized by the ANC and Cercle Manouchian.

Italy

In various Italian cities, members of the Rete dei Comunisti (Network of Communists) took solidarity photos to accompany a statement issued by the network demanding Georges Abdallah’s liberation. Communists in Rome, Napoli, Turin, Milan and Bologna participated in the solidarity actions.

The week of action in Italy launched on 10 June with a screening of “Fedayin” in Naples. The screening was organized by Mensa Occupata and over 80 people joined the outdoor screening, including activists from the Naples-Palestine Coordination and the Handala Ali Cultural Center.

Speakers highlighted the struggle of Palestinian prisoners and the case of Georges Abdallah, emphasizing that these cases are linked. Representatives of Collectif Palestine Vaincra also emphasized the importance of strengthening the international Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network to support the Palestinian struggle for liberation from Zionism and colonialism.

Palestine

The call to free Georges Abdallah was also heard from occupied Palestine, including from the heart of the resistance in Gaza. On Saturday, 19 June, an event in Gaza was organized to raise the call to free Georges Abdallah and all Palestinian prisoners while supporting children whose homes were destroyed during the Israeli attacks on besieged Gaza.

Participants carried images of Palestinian prisoners like Ahmad Sa’adat, Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin while a large placard calling for Georges Abdallah’s freedom stood at the head of the event, supported by Collectif Palestine Vaincra.

Earlier, on 14 June, the National and Islamic Forces organized a protest in Gaza outside the UN office, demanding international action to free hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. They also joined in the call to free Georges Abdallah, imprisoned in France for 37 years, alongside his fellow prisoners of the Palestinian cause.

Belgium

On Saturday, 19 June, members of Plate-Forme Charleroi-Palestine visited the Châtelineau market in Charleroi to take action to free Georges Abdallah. They distributed numerous flyers calling for solidarity with Abdallah and called on people to join the upcoming Palestine stand on Saturday, 17 July at 3 pm at Place Verte. The stand will feature solidarity cards for Georges Abdallah, actions for the boycott of Israel and solidarity with Gaza.

In Brussels, on 16 June, a flash rally was organized in front of the AXA headquarters in Brussels. Around 20 activists gathered to unfurl a giant banner demanding the boycott of AXA for its role in supporting the colonization of Palestine and demanding liberation for Georges Abdallah.

Axa is one of the main accomplices in the oppression of the Palestinian people. Not only does this company collaborate with the Israeli state and its war industry (notably through its investment in the company Elbit Systems), but it is involved in the financing of settlements in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. The action was organized as part of the week of solidarity for Georges Abdallah.

Spanish State/Spain

On 19 June, after a day of meetings and organizing, Samidoun España organized a solidarity video with Georges Abdallah to mark the Week of Action.

This followed the visit of the Samidoun España delegation to the French Embassy in Madrid on 17 June, where a delegation of Jaldia Abubakra and Liliana Cordova Kaczerginski delivered a letter signed by dozens of organizations, including the Izquierda Unida (United Left), Communist Party of Spain, the Women’s Democratic Movement of Spain, MEP Manu Pineda, and many international solidarity and Palestine solidarity organizations, including Alkarama, Alyudur, BDS Gasteiz, Unadikum, Palestina Libre Murcia, SODePAZ in three regions, and many more.

Tunisia

On Saturday, 19 June, the Tunisian Campaign for the Liberation of Georges Abdallah gathered to protest outside the French embassy in central Tunis and took solidarity photos at the front entrance. They then organized a presentation of “L’Affaire Georges Abdallah” by Said Bouamama before the evening screening of “Fedayin” at the Al Rio Theatre.

Switzerland

In Lausanne, Secours Rouge Genève joined the march to support Palestinian resistance on Saturday, 19 June, carrying large banners and signs highlighting the campaign to free Georges Abdallah.

On 16 June in Geneva, Palestine: Filmer C’est Exister festival organized a screening of Fedayin at the Cinélux theater to a very full audience. The success of the event has led to a second screening for those who could not get tickets to the first screening, coming up on 1 July in Geneva.

Germany

On Saturday, 19 June, Samidoun Deutschland joined with progressive Turkish and Kurdish organizations to organize a concert for Grup Yorum, the revolutionary musical band whose participants have been repeatedly subjected to political imprisonment in Turkey, including members who have lost their lives on hunger strike.

Mohammed Khatib, Samidoun Europe coordinator, spoke at the event with a strong call for the liberation of Palestine and all of the prisoners of the Palestinian cause, as well as all revolutionary political prisoners in Europe, including a salute to Georges Abdallah imprisoned in France, concluding with Abdallah’s famous quote: “We win together, and we win only together.”

United States

As part of an international week of action for political prisoner Georges Abdallah taking place from June 12-19, activists with the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Red Aid recorded a video statement on 15 June in Austin, Texas, to echo the demand for his immediate release from the French prison where he has been held since 1984.

They emphasized U.S. involvement in the imprisonment of Georges Abdallah, noting: “The United States government clearly understands that Georges Abdallah’s anti-imperialist politics are a threat to our government’s stranglehold on the oppressed people of the world. This is why they’ve blocked his release, and this is exactly why we must play our part in mobilizing mass support in the U.S. for political prisoners who fought for Palestinian liberation.”

Canada

On 15 June, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network participated in an emergency demonstration for Palestine organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, marching from the Vancouver Art Gallery to the U.S. Consulate in Vancouver. Samidoun speakers urged solidarity and action to support the Palestinian people and their resistance, free Palestinian prisoners and free Georges Abdallah, imprisoned in France for 37 years. Participants in the demonstration carried posters and signs demanding the liberation of Abdallah and the liberation of Palestine.

Britain

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the Revolutionary Communist Group mobilized in Manchester on Saturday, 19 June in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails, including Ghadanfar Abu Atwan, Khader Adnan and Jamal al-Tawil.

Participants carried signs calling for the liberation of Palestinian prisoners and of Georges Abdallah, prisoner of the Palestinian cause jailed in France for 37 years.

We urge all friends of Palestine to join in the ongoing actions to free Georges Abdallah and prepare for the week of action in October 2021. Georges Abdallah will be free, and Palestine will be victorious!