Georges Abdallah’s Freedom is Closer than Ever by Collectif Palestine Vaincra (Al-Akhbar)

The following article by Collectif Palestine Vaincra (a member organization of the Samidoun Network) was published in Al-Akhbar, the Lebanese newspaper, as part of a series of articles on the case of Georges Abdallah. The special file on the Lebanese Communist struggler for Palestine imprisoned in France for 37 years was published to accompany the Lebanese tour of the documentary film, “Fedayin: Georges Abdallah’s Fight.” Screenings are taking place in Beirut, Saida, Tripoli and Palestinian refugee camps Bourj al-Barajneh, Ain el-Helweh and Shatila.

The article follows below:

Read the original in Arabic | Read in French 

“Certainly comrades, it is not by seeking legal loopholes here and there that one manages to confront the criminal harassment of the ‘authorized representatives of capital’ to which the imprisoned resistance fighters are subjected, but rather by affirming unwavering determination in the struggle against their criminal, moribund system.” – Georges Abdallah, 23 June 2018

Since its foundation, Collectif Palestine Vaincra has been leading a large campaign of mobilization for the release of Georges Abdallah, who is an honorary member. His continued detention in France reveals the role of French imperialism in this region of the world, especially in Lebanon and Palestine. Each month, several members of the Collectif Palestine Vaincra visit him at Lannemezan prison, where he is detained. And every month, we meet a relentless Arab struggler, determined and enthusiastic in facing the developments in the ongoing struggles. For us, supporting Georges Abdallah is supporting the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples against imperialism.

Georges Abdallah, prisoner of the Palestinian revolution

The Collectif Palestine Vaincra is an organization supporting the Palestinian people and their resistance. We support the struggle for the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea, and we mobilize for the immediate release of 4,650 Palestinian prisoners. Alongside those imprisoned in Zionist jails, Georges Abdallah is an important figure imprisoned in the heart of the center of imperialism. Supporting the cause of Georges Abdallah and the Palestinian prisoners is not only a human rights concern. It is, first and foremost, political support for those at the forefront of resistance against imperialism and Zionism, and who embody the only path for the liberation of the Palestinian people — that of resistance.

Georges Abdallah, an imprisoned Arab struggler

In prison, Georges Abdallah has never ceased to be what he is: An anti-imperialist fighter, a revolutionary intellectual and an Arab communist. As such, in 1999, he joined a platform bringing together dozens of revolutionary political prisoners, including anarchists, communists, and anti-fascists. He never ceases to affirm his support for the struggles of the peoples against imperialism and Zionism, especially the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. Through declarations and refusing his meals, he brings his resistance to the heart of the imperialist prisons system. He supported Bilal Kayed’s hunger strike, demands the release of Ahmad Sa’adat (who calls him, in turn, “leader of the prisoners of the PFLP”), and supports the Great Marches for Return. All of his solidarity is in service of the struggle. By virtue of his clear political position and his status as a leader, he plays an important role in the reconstruction of the Palestinian and Arab left.

A growing campaign for the release of Europe’s longest-held political prisoner

The mobilization in France was developed first to break the code of silence on the story of Georges Abdallah and brk his isolation. After over 15 years of relentless campaigning, this first step is a partial success. Georges Abdallah has not been forgotten and an increasing number of people discover this state crime every year. In Toulouse, we are developing important efforts for information and mobilization in order to build the solidarity movement. The release of the documentary film, “Fedayin: Georges Abdallah’s Fight” is also playing a key role in developing support for the Lebanese communist imprisoned in France.

Since 2010, a large annual mobilization has taken place in October outside the prison gates in Lannemezan, where he is held. On 23 October 2021, over 1,000 people from across France and elsewhere gathered in front of the prison gates where he is held hostage to demand his release. At the same time, international support is becoming more and more visible and important, in particular thanks to the essential work of the Lebanese Campaign for the Liberation of Georges Abdallah as well as the international Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and hundreds of committees around the world. Today, more than 400 political and cultural figures around the world have joined the campaign for his liberation, including Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Marcel Khalife. Without a doubt, the campaign for the liberation of Georges Abdallah has become one of the most important global campaigns to release a political prisoner.

Supporting Georges Abdallah: Supporting the resistance, Building the future

Today, Georges Abdallah has become a symbol of uncompromising struggle against imperialism, Zionism and reactionary Arab regimes. As an Arab communist imprisoned in France, Georges Abdallah embodies this necessary and vital link between the anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist struggles in Lebanon, Palestine and France.

His assertion of his political identity and his unwavering support for ongoing resistance have made it possible to politicize a new generation of activists on both sides of the Mediterranean. In France, many people have become politicized through his case and his struggle. The support of the generation born in the ’80s during his arrest and those born in the 2000’s (since Georges became eligible for release) emphasizes that support for Georges Abdallah has not weakened but, on the contrary, is consistently renewed alongside him. The emergence of anti-imperialist youth movements is undoubtedly the greatest political victory of Georges Abdallah, in addition to his assertion of the legitimacy of his cause for over 37 years in the face of his jailers.

At the same time, his 37-year imprisonment presents an urgent clarion call for the responsibility of the entire anti-imperialist movement in France, Lebanon and Palestine. It is urgent that this movement be reconstructed, for Georges and for the resistance.

Collectif Palestine Vaincra, member of the international Samidoun Network

2 November 2021