Read the original Spanish report.
Help us build a stronger and more combative 2022 in the fight for Palestine in the Spanish State!
The year to which we bid farewell has been full of inspiring events in the struggle for the liberation of Palestine. Both inside and outside colonized Palestine, Palestinian and Arab strugglers and international activists have once again set an example of serious, creative and rigorous political imagination and organization. Undoubtedly, the development of these forces would not have been such without the explosion of the Unity Intifada in May 2021. Its shock waves ran through the open-air prison that is Gaza, the Palestinian territories colonized in 1948 and the ghettoes of the West Bank, demonstrating to the Israeli occupier and his allies that ALL of Palestine will be reclaimed, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
There have been many demonstrations, campaigns, events and activities organized by the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network throughout the world in 2021. The hundreds of activists of the Network are prepared to undertake a 2022 that consolidates the achievements obtained in 2021 and reaches new goals.
In the context of the Spanish State, 2021 has been a truly special year because it witnessed the birth of Samidoun Spain. Despite our relatively small number, we have managed to make ourselves known, establish alliances with other social, local and international movements, launch campaigns, mobilize demonstrations, organize events, have a presence in different political spaces throughout the State and succeed in building power and consolidating our strength. All this, while remaining consistent with our political line and maintaining ourselves as a grassroots organization without funding from foundations or full-time staff. The work, solidarity and committed effort of our activists is essential to maintain the organization.
As an internationalist, Arab and Palestinian movement we are with the boycott of Israel, against all the complicit companies that benefit from colonization; with the Palestinian prisoners and with the entire resistance and liberation movement of the Palestinian people and with all those who in every corner of the world face imperialism, capitalism, Zionism and reactionary repression. In Samidoun Spain, we consider economic independence fundamental to continue being autonomous and free in the development of our activism, as well as a study and analysis of the left to give a correct direction to our political praxis.
Next, we will make a summary of the activities that Samidoun Spain has carried out in the Spanish State in this first year of its birth:
Neither the pandemic, nor the prohibitions on meetings in indoor spaces, nor the cancellation of events in the Spanish state could prevent the activists of Samidoun Spain from expanding their work for Palestine. So in February 2021, together with Alkarama Palestinian women’s movement, they organized an online conversation with former prisoner Rula Abu Dohou and former prisoner Saad Omar, who gave their testimony about the torture received in Zionist prisons and explained how the prison system operates. These former prisoners discussed Israeli torture inside prisons, as well as the objectives the Israeli regime seeks to achieve with the systematization of the techniques of physical and psychological violence against Palestinian bodies.
In 2022 we will continue to speak out and mobilize against the Zionist executioner that seeks to take the lives of prisoners and suppress the prioners’ movement. The Zionist project will learn that the Palestinian strugglers are stronger than all the violence exerted against them.
March 2021 was a very busy month. We organized a discussion over Zoom on “The Palestinian feminist struggle between the first Intifada and the Oslo Accords”, together with Linda Graisa and Juani Rishmawi; We went to demonstrate against the Foreigners Internment Center (CIE, Aluche), another illegal prison violating the rights of migrants. On March 8, a rally was called in Murcia in support of Palestinian political prisoners and on March 30, one for Land Day; we hung a banner in the heart of Ciudad Universitaria in support of Palestinian students imprisoned for their student activism and, one of the most important, we made it clear to the fascist organizations that sought to appropriate the Palestinian struggle that “Solidarity with Palestine is anti-racist, feminist and anti-fascist.”
Of course, in 2022 Samidoun will continue to be present in all these spaces and will join new campaigns to expand our networks and alliances with other movements!
In April, on the international day of political prisoners, we convened a rally in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid. In alliance with Mapuche activists, we showed our commitment and solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners and against the repression and imprisonment of Mapuche fighters. We filled the square in front of the entrance with banners, posters, flags and images of some of the 4,500 political prisoners in Israeli jails. Of course, there we demanded that the Spanish Foreign Ministry immediately cut off relations with the Israeli colonial state if it does not want to end up sitting, sooner or later, in the dock and being tried for complicity in crimes against humanity.
The alliances with our Mapuche, Filipino, Zapatista, and fellow internationa comrades will continue to grow in 2022 and find common spaces where we can meet, organize and fight in an increasingly solid united front!
The great 1st of May is the day of our beloved working class, to which the activists of Samidoun Spain belong and to which they are committed. Following an essential principle of the workers’ conscience: considering the working class struggle to be an international class struggle, the activists of Samidoun Spain marched, raising Palestinian flags, in the mass demonstration that took place in Madrid together with dozens of unions, neighborhood organizations, groups of community and social movements.
During the Samidoun speech in front of hundreds of comrades and protesters, we called for the right of return; the right to dignity; to the land; justice and reparations for the Palestinian people. Likewise, we pointed out the fundamental working-class character of the Palestinian liberation movement, denouncing that many Palestinians are compelled to work as colonized indigenous people in Israeli companies and leave their militarized ghettos every day to work in the Zionist colonies. 60% of these Palestinians work between 12 and 14 hours, receiving the bare minimum salary to even survive.
On May 15, and amid a wave of international demonstrations confronting the Zionist aggression against the Gaza ghetto that killed more than 250 Palestinians by aerial bombardment, of which more than 65 were minors, as well as against the incursions of the occupying army into the Al Aqsa mosque and the displacement of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, the activists of Samidoun Spain called for a demonstration in Madrid that gathered thousands of people in one of the most massive marches of the last years in solidarity with Palestine.
The demonstration wound its way to the core of Madrid, in the central Plaza del Sol, where thousands of protesters ended their march to call for the urgent fall of Israeli colonialism.
May 2021 was a historic moment whose events in Palestine were recorded in the annals of history thanks to the Unity Intifada, in which Palestinians from the ghettos of the West Bank, Gaza and the occupied Palestine 1948 demonstrated that their unified national sentiment throughout Palestine from the river to the sea can never be annihilated.
Our duty as activists is to ensure that in 2022 the mobilization responding to specific events and calls is increasingly transformed into daily, continuous organizing!
Samidoun Spain prepared itself for an intense summer of work and struggle, entering June with two online conversations, in which issues related to the conditions of Palestinian prisoners and political prisoners held in Zionist prisons were discussed. In one of them the speaker was the activist Ghassan Najjar , who had just been released after spending more than a year in prison. The conversation revolved around specific issues regarding the food, health, education and financial conditions of Palestinian prisoners in jail. Likewise, Ghassan emphasized the importance of the prisoners’ continued development of their political thought and organization behind bars as essential to avoid succumbing to the strategy of weakening the resistance.
Secondly, we spoke with Muna Jaabis and Mutasem, sister and son of Israa Jaabis , the Palestinian prisoner who, after suffering serious burns to her body, has been imprisoned by the Israeli occupation forces until today, being subjected by the prison authorities to repeated medical negligence amounting to torture.
Continuing with our internationalist political line, we attended the Marx Madera Internationalist Solidarity Festival together with the comrades of the Communist Party from the Usera neighborhood (Madrid) . There we had the opportunity to set up an information booth where we talked with our fellow attendees about the current situation in Palestine and the main campaigns of struggle and activities underway.
To end the month, we had the great opportunity to share space with the comrades of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in the EKO of Carabanchel (Madrid). Sharing a table with the Zapatista comrades, we discussed the current situation of our causes and defined the red thread that unites them in order to project a horizon of common struggle.
Some think that the heat of summer brings calm … but the internationalist struggle does not understand holidays!
The month of July was inaugurated with a talk in the Madrid-area town of Batres, thanks to the commitment of the young people of the Popular Collective “Sur against hate” , who provided us with a space in the town hall to hold a discussion with the residents of Batres. Samidoun’s comrades emphasized the alliance of anti-colonial movements and struggles and the elements that make the situation in Palestine an unparalleled example of colonialism in the 21st century.
That same month the Palestinian activist Nizar Banat was assassinated at the hands of the Palestinian Authority, mercenaries subcontracted by the Israeli regime who do not hesitate to target Palestinians confronting the “security coordination” between the security forces of the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation regime. This is the very framework on which the Oslo Accords are based. In response to his murder and so many years of betrayal of the Palestinian Authority’s own people, activists from different backgrounds gathered in front of the Palestinian Embassy to point out that the Palestinian Authority fulfills the role of protecting the existence of the occupation and controlling the Palestinian people in the West Bank. Acting as agents of the occupation, the PA practices all forms of oppression, including political arrests, violent raids and assassinations, against the Palestinian people to serve the Zionist colonial project and protect the privileges of the small sector of beneficiaries of the Palestinian Authority: the Oslo class affiliated with the Zionist regime.
At the end of July 2021, one of the activities that would most strengthen the political line and the alliances in which Samidoun had been working would take place. This is the Ghassan Kanafani Brigade, an international delegation from Samidoun made up of representatives from the Netherlands; Spain; France; Sweden; Lebanon; Palestine, etc. The brigade traveled to Lebanon to meet with different popular organizations from the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Lebanese political parties, Palestinian solidarity movements and many others. Thanks to the brigade, the Samidoun activists and the different organizations that hosted us were able to discuss our political positions, debate and design projects to work together in the medium and long term. This is part of our awareness of the importance of building a broad common front that is stronger than the enemy’s alliances.
In 2022 we will continue to organize delegations that extend the network and our internationalist framework in different areas in order to build an increasingly broad and powerful alliance!
At the end of the summer, in September 2021, Samidoun organized information booths on Sundays in Madrid. In the Plaza de Tirso de Molina, together with the rest of the comrades on the left who historically inhabit the square to distribute different materials referring to the history of the Spanish resistance against fascism, the republican and communist tradition; Samidoun activists found a place to inform and invite passersby to organize in the international movement for Palestine and join the different boycott campaigns targeting the Israeli occupation and complicit corporations.
We concluded September by celebrating the feat that the 6 prisoners of Gilboa prison undertook, liberating themselves from one of the highest security prisons of the Israeli regime. We do not consider their recapture a defeat. Their escape was a major blow to the prison system and the Israeli regime as a whole, which promotes itself as invincible and untouchable. The Gilboa 6 took their freedom and gave the whole world a breath of fresh air — and from Spain, we took great strength and energy from their courage that propelled us forward throughout 2021.
Many activists and relevant political figures, especially from Izquierda Unida, showed their solidarity with the Gilboa 6 at the Izquierda Unida Summer School held in Malaga at the end of September 2021.
In addition, we demonstrated in front of the Zionist embassy after the capture of the prisoners. With this we directly highlighted the Zionist regime as a system whose main tool to consolidate its power is torture and the systematic extermination of the Palestinian people. The Gilboa 6 were subjected to harsh torture after their capture.
On 24, 25, 26 September Samidoun was invited to the Centennial Fiesta of the Communist Party of Spain. During three full days, Samidoun members had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of people who came to our stand to ask questions, discuss politics and Palestine, buy merchandise and learn how we organize ourselves and how they can join.
Many personalities from the world of culture, journalism and politics came to show their support and solidarity for Palestine. Some examples included Daniel Jadue, the presidential candidate for the Communist Party in Chile, the journalist Miquel Ramos and the rapper Toni Mejías.
On October 12 (for the fascists the day of Hispanidad, but for us the day of colonization and the Spanish extermination in Latin America), the activists of Samidoun joined together with all the Indigenous peoples in the mass demonstration held in Madrid. This demonstration was a march including all the groups that represent the colonized indigenous peoples. Of course, the presence of Palestine could not be absent. Coming from all over the globe, together we shouted: “Nothing to celebrate!”
November came and Samidoun experienced one of the most important weeks of the year. We had the honor of hosting international activists from around the world in Madrid. Delegations from France, Canada, the US, Europe, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran and many others landed in Madrid to attend the Conference of the Alternative Palestinian Path (Masar Badil) , as well as to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Samidoun at the EKO in Carabanchel. It was the first time that the Samidoun Spain activists met face to face with their international colleagues, with whom they had been working and coordinating online for months.
In addition, the month of November included the Madrid premiere of the documentary “Fedayin: Georges Abdallah’s Fight” at the Teatro de Barrio in Madrid. We ended up selling out the tickets and filling the room to max capacity! Samidoun Spain activists are very proud to have in the subsequent discussion with Matthieu Jeuland from Collectif Vacarme (s) Films, responsible for the production of the documentary; Liliana Cordova, from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and Jaldia Abubakra, from the Alkarama Palestinian Women’s movement.
You can’t imagine the surprises we have in store for 2022… “Fedayin: Georges Abdallah’s Fight” still has several premieres pending… !!
At the end of November, Samidoun did not miss our appointment with the Saharawi people and joined their activists in the demonstration called on November 13 in rejection of the Tripartite Agreements of Madrid. The Moroccan occupation situation in Western Sahara deserves all our solidarity and our commitment. We do not forget or forgive that the Moroccan monarchy, just as it has subjected the Saharawi population by denying them their freedom and the right to self-determination, is also one of the reactionary Arab regimes that normalizes through treaties, political and economic agreements with the Israeli colonial entity.
Freedom and self-determination for the Sahrawi people !!
We are approaching the end of the year, and we will conclude by noting that a few weeks ago some of our activists traveled to León, where they were invited to a solidarity event on December 11 and 12. There they were given a space for Palestine, which they used to share information about the work and activities of Masar Badil and Samidoun.
Next year we will continue to move throughout the Spanish State, weaving ever wider networks!
It is essential for us that our organizations and especially our left-wing political parties abandon the damaging narrative of a “two state solution” for Palestine . For us it is essential that they understand that there will be no justice and, much less peace, until the Israeli colonial regime, with all its institutions and structures, is dismantled and a single, liberated, democratic, progressive Palestine is established in which all citizens may have equal rights and duties.
For this reason, and so that all militants of local Spanish politics understand the importance of local and national work that always sets its sights clearly on the internationalist horizon, we organized the projection at the headquarters of the Podemos circle of Carabanchel of: “Fedayin: Georges Abdallah’s Fight”. Subsequently, we had a discussion with the Podemos militants about the reality of Palestine, the importance of the anti-colonial struggles and liberation movements, and our duty, as committed anti-capitalist militants in our countries, to always bear in mind that our emancipation from the yoke of neoliberalism will never come without the freedom of the struggling colonized peoples.
Work in our local context has just begun. We are more than prepared to continue dialoguing and debating with our closest political representatives about the most reasonable, fair and strategic position and discourse regarding Palestine. This is: “One Palestine, free from the river to the sea!”
Finally, we say goodbye leaving you this magnificent image in which we combine sport, anti-racism and… the boycott of Israel! In the Carabanchel anti-racist world cup.
If we have done all this with just one year of life… imagine what we will do in 2022… we will be even stronger in defense of Palestine !
Not only did we launch Samidoun Spain in 2021, but also Samidoun in the Paris Region, Samidoun Iran, Samidoun Malmo, and Samidoun Toronto. New organizations also joined the Network – the Center for the Study and Preservation of Palestine in Portland, the Anti-Imperialist Alliance in Ottawa, ACTA in Paris, and Free Palestine Murcia.
Samidoun is organized with an anti-imperialist and anti-colonial vision of justice and liberation, confronting imperialism, Zionism and reactionary forces. This means that we cannot just fight for justice for Palestine, but it is essential to support the Black liberation movement, indigenous sovereignty and self-determination movements and anti-imperialist movements around the world. We organize to free political prisoners in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and elsewhere, and we work in solidarity with the struggles of prisoners from Morocco to Turkey to the Philippines.
It is evident, after presenting a compilation of our activity in 2021, that our ideological definition does not remain only in the arena political theory, but is materialized in a concrete political praxis.
In 2022, we are building even more chapters, welcoming more affiliated organizations and building the movement to free all Palestinian prisoners, stand with the Palestinian resistance and realize a free Palestine from river to sea. We invite you to join us.
Click here to support Samidoun’s work as we organize for 2022 and beyond – towards return and liberation.