New York City action protests France’s ban on Palestine solidarity organizations

On Friday, 18 March, activists in New York City gathered outside the French consulate to send a message of solidarity with the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and Comite Action Palestine, two organizations dissolved — essentially banned — by the French government for their Palestine solidarity work.

If a banned organization in France continues to organize events, display its logo or publish on social media, members can be subjected to arrest, fines and even imprisonment. The French government gave only political reasons — support for the boycott of Israel, anti-Zionism, and defense of the Palestinian resistance — for blatantly violating the freedom of expression and association of activists for Palestine.

Samidoun NY/NJ organized the protest action outside the French consulate. The New York City action came alongside a growing series of international protests against this attack on public expression and action in France, including protests and marches in Toulouse, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Charleroi, Barcelona, Napoli and a number of other cities over the weekend.

Participants in the protest spoke out against the French state’s escalation of attacks on the Palestine movement as well as its ongoing imprisonment of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab Communist struggler for Palestine whose life is profiled in the documentary film “Fedayin,” has been jailed in France for over 37 years despite being eligible for release since 1999. The US government has been aligned with the French state in keeping Abdallah locked behind bars rather than returned home to his comrades and family in Lebanon.

The Collectif Palestine Vaincra has campaigned tirelessly for Abdallah’s release.

On Wednesday, 30 March — the Palestinian Day of the Land — Samidoun NY/NJ will join Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine, the Palestinian Youth Movement, Decolonize this Place, CUNY Law Students for Justice in Palestine, Existence is Resistance, the Defund Racism campaign and other organizers to rally outside the headquarters of the “Friends of the IDF” at 5 pm. All supporters of justice in Palestine are invited to join in the New York action.