On 5 October 2021, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network organized a webinar with two speakers from occupied Palestine, recently liberated Palestinian student prisoner Layan Kayed and Hadeel Shatara, coordinator of Samidoun Palestine.
Both Layan Kayed and Hadeel Shatara presented powerful testimonies of Palestinian struggle and organizing, particularly Layan’s experiences inside Israeli prisons and with her fellow Palestinian prisoners, organizing and educating themselves despite all attempts to repress their will to liberation.
The event took place as part of Palestine Action Week in Vancouver, organized by the Palestine Action Coalition: Palestinian Youth Movement, NSJP, Canada Palestine Association, UBC SPHR, SFU SJP, Samidoun Network, BDS Vancouver, Anti-racism coalition Vancouver, Independent Jewish Voices, Rise SFU, Sulong UBC, and the Caucus.
Hundreds of Palestinian students are routinely detained by the Israeli occupation, especially those who are part of student organizations involved with campus political life. At Bir Zeit University alone, approximately 74 students were detained by occupation soldiers during the 2019-2020 academic year.
They are among nearly 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners jailed by Israel. The work of student organizing, from holding book fairs to organizing events and participating in student elections, is criminalized by the Israeli occupation. Still more students are detained for joining demonstrations or posting on their social media profiles. The targeting of Palestinian students is an attack on Palestinian futures. It is a systematic attempt to undermine the capacity of young Palestinians to organize with one another for a liberated future for their people: One free of colonization, apartheid and occupation. To join the campaign to free Palestinian students, please visit freepalestinianstudents.org.
Please note — Layan Kayed spoke in Arabic. This video contains the audio of the English interpretation. To hear Layan’s original Arabic remarks, visit the Facebook video: