The following statement was released by Georges Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine imprisoned in France for over 37 years, for 17 April 2022, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, from his cell in Lannemezan Prison.
Georges Abdallah is part and parcel of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement. Palestinian prisoners, like imprisoned PFLP leader Ahmad Sa’adat, have issued letters and statements of solidarity with Abdallah, who has joined in collective hunger strikes from his cell in Lannemezan prison in France.
The film “Fedayin: Georges Abdallah’s Fight” addresses the life and struggle of the longest-held political prisoner in Europe. It is available with appropriate subtitles in French, Arabic, English, German, Turkish, Italian, Catalan and Castilian Spanish. If you want to show Fedayin in your area, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and contact the directors at email@example.com. We will help you to get your screening organized, and the directors are available to attend your events in person or to join your in-person events via video link.
We are republishing below, in translation from the original French:
Dear comrades and friends,
Celebrating today, through your gathering here, the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner or the International Day of the Revolutionary Prisoner is certainly not only to express our unwavering solidarity with our comrades imprisoned in Zionist jails or in the jails of fascism in Turkey or elsewhere around the world; it is not only to support with all our strength their just demands and thereby salute the current mobilization around the open-ended hunger strike of our two dear comrades Sibel Balaç and Gökhan Yildirim, which began over 110 days ago. The celebration of the “Day of the Palestinian Prisoner” or the “International Day of the Revolutionary Prisoner” is intended above all Comrades, to affirm our strong determination to liberate our comrades from the grips of the criminal jailers.
Perhaps it would be useful to remind us, Comrades, that when in 1974 the Palestinian National Congress declared 17 April Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, this was not only intended to denounce on this occasion the barbarism of the Zionist occupier, nor only intended to honor the captive Resistance fighters by reminding the popular masses of their sacrifices and their unshakeable will to stand up against the Zionist military. The commemoration of this Day of the Prisoner is intended, above all else, to affirm loudly and clearly our duties towards our captive comrades, and, first and foremost, to include their release in the overall dynamics of our ongoing struggles. In fact, on several occasions, the vanguards of the Palestinian revolutionary struggle took on this task with great courage and self-sacrifice, forcing the enemy to release thousands of captive comrades without any compromise on their part. Certainly you are not unaware, Comrades, that the release of revolutionary prisoners has always been a moment of great popular celebration and has always contributed in the most significant way to the influence of the Palestinian revolution and to the enrichment of the struggle, both regionally and internationally. This does not mean that the revolutionary prisoners do not participate directly in the process of the ongoing struggle from behind bars; only, Comrades, in their conditions of detention and faced with the policy of annihilation to which they are subject, the balance of power is never limited to the perimeter of the prison; it is the particular expression of the general relationship between revolution and counter-revolution. This is why, Comrades, the initiatives of prison struggles must always be part of this global vision from the outset. When our incarcerated comrades mobilize against isolation in “F” type prisons and against the rigged trials in Turkey, they express, in their particular conditions, the global dynamic of the struggle against the fascist dictatorship of Turkish bourgeoisie. This global dynamic is essentially a function of the activity of the revolutionary protagonists within the “historical social bloc.” This is why, Comrades, the struggle of the prisoners should in no way suggest that it is the responsibility of the prisoners to stand on the front lines and to pay the price of the confrontation against the fascist dictatorship.
When our incarcerated comrades make use of the ultimate weapon at their disposal, namely their bodies, it is incumbent on comrades outside prison to do the same, namely to use “the weapons” which are supposed to be at their disposal (unless they are disarmed on principle!). If this is not the case, that is to say if, for whatever reason, those outside are unable to use “weapons”, the “open grave” strike [or death fast] is not only inappropriate but above all counter-productive…
Of course, Comrades, solidarity, all solidarity with our incarcerated comrades in the struggle against the policy of annihilation to which they have been subjected for a very long time, knowing that the most appropriate solidarity that we can bring to a political prisoner is to engage ever more in the field of the fight against the existing system of exploitation and domination.
As we recalled on Land Day, the Palestinian people affirm by the blood of their martyrs in Jenin, Khudeira, Yaaboud and Bethlehem that Palestine, its land and people, is more united than ever. They pulverize with the blood of their martyrs not only the “deal of the century” but also and above all the Oslo agreements, and signify to the entire Arab bourgeoisie their refusal and condemnation of all steps aimed at the “normalization” of relations between the Arab countries and the Zionist entity. They thus affirm the unshakeable will of the Palestinian popular masses to send to the dustbin of history the normalization between the Zionist entity and all these lackeys, emirs and kinglets… Thus at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, the Palestinian popular masses are preparing for a mobilization commensurate with the current challenges; thus from Sheikh Jarrah to Gaza and to all the cities and localities of the West Bank and the territories of ’48, Palestinians of all ages, affirm by the blood of the martyrs that nothing and no one will be able to eradicate this popular Intifada so rooted in the collective consciousness and so necessary to end the occupation. They are more than ever the embodiment of all dignity and all hopes… Let’s look at this popular resistance to “Beita” or to Jenin and its surroundings in the North or to Hebron not to mention everything that is happening in Al -Quds and in the territories of 48 and the mobilization of the popular masses in Gaza… thus from “Sheikh Jarrah” to Gaza and to all the cities and localities of the West Bank and the territories of 48, Palestinians and Palestinians, of all ages, affirm by the blood of the martyrs that nothing and no one will be able to eradicate this popular Intifada so rooted in the collective consciousness and so necessary to end the occupation. She is more than ever the embodiment of all dignity and all hopes… We view the popular resistance in Beita or in Jenin and its surroundings in the North or in al-Khalil, not to mention everything that is happening in Al-Quds and in the territories of ’48 and the mobilization of the popular masses in Gaza…
The Palestinian people and its fighting vanguards have accumulated, throughout their journey of existential struggle, the means necessary to take up the challenge and continue the struggle until victory.
Quite naturally, the Palestinian popular masses, as well as their struggling vanguards in captivity, can count on your active solidarity.
May a thousand solidarity initiatives flourish in favor of Palestine and its glorious Resistance!
May a thousand solidarity initiatives flourish in favor of our two comrades Sibel Balaç and Gökhan Yildirim, and their incarcerated comrades!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the resistance fighters in Zionist jails, and in solitary confinement cells in Morocco, Turkey, Greece and the Philippines and elsewhere around the world!
Solidarity, all solidarity with the Yemeni people!
Honor to the Martyrs and to the popular masses in struggle!
Down with imperialism and its Zionist watchdogs and other Arab reactionaries!
Capitalism is nothing but barbarism, honor to all those who oppose it in the diversity of their expressions!
Together, Comrades, and only together will we win!
To all of you, Comrades and friends, my warmest revolutionary greetings.
Your comrade Georges Abdallah