Berlin bans Nakba commemorations: United against Repression – United for Freedom and Justice

In an outrageous attack on Palestinian rights, memory and even identity, the police in Berlin, the capital of Germany, have banned all public commemorations of the 74th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, when over 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes and lands by Zionist militias. The Nakba is commemorated on 15 May, known as Nakba Day or the Day of Palestinian Struggle. Events are being organized throughout Palestine and globally.

The events banned by the police include two marches, two awareness-raising tents and a cultural gathering, scheduled for 13, 14 and 15 May. Samidoun Deutschland was the organizer of one of the cancelled marches, Palestine Speaks the organizer of another, and the cultural event was organized by a group of Palestinian community organizations. After the ban, an application for a memorial vigil for Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh — shot dead by Israeli occupation forces — was also prohibited as a “replacement for the banned events.” At the same time that Palestinians have been banned from commemorating the Nakba and 74 years of dispossession and struggle at the risk of arrest and prosecution, the Berlin Senate is providing public funding for an event on 15 May by Zionist groups that labels BDS and Amnesty International “anti-Semitic.” Berlin is home to one of the largest Palestinian communities in Europe, repeatedly labeled as “emotional” in the documents presented by the police to organizing groups as a reason for banning the Nakba commemorations.

This follows a series of attacks on Palestinian rights in Germany, many perpetrated by Berlin officials, including the banning of an event with Khaled Barakat (later ruled illegal by a German court), the political ban and deportation of Rasmea Odeh, and a series of repressive efforts directed at advocates for the boycott of Israel and justice in Palestine. Just two weeks ago, Berlin police also banned Palestine demonstrations on 29-30 April, on the same type of dubious basis. Read the following statement distributed by the affected groups in Germany — email us at samidoun@samidoun.net to add your support!

United against Repression – United for Freedom and Justice

May 15 is Nakba Day – a day of remembrance of the expulsion of Palestinians, a day of struggle against ongoing Zionist settlement colonialism, a day of unbroken Palestinian resistance and a day of international solidarity.

As has taken place and escalated over the past year, massive repression is being directed against Palestinian groups and demonstrations in Berlin. The authorities want to prevent thousands of people from pouring into the streets of the capital, the site of the largest Palestinian community in Europe. As a result, numerous demonstrations by various groups planned for next Sunday’s Nakba Day have been banned! 

This outrageous assault on Palestinian memory and Palestinian lives is a racist act of discrimination. In their justifications of the bannings Berlin police repeatedly declare that Palestinians are “emotional” about the killing of their people and the confiscation of their land. The labeling of legitimate Palestinian anger and commitment to pursue justice in the face of over 100 years of colonialism as a “threat to public safety” is an abhorrent act of censorship.

As a flimsy reason for the bans, the authorities also accuse all demonstrations being held to commemorate the Nakba in Berlin, and even the entire Palestine movement, of anti-Semitism across the board. The face of the German repressive apparatus is clearly shown in these measures: all means should be used to prevent international solidarity from breaking out. Because the state fears a broad anti-imperialist movement that, beyond solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle, focuses on Germany’s complicity and its own imperialist interests.

We do not accept these prohibitions! Nakba Day is our day of struggle and we resolutely stand united against repression. As the German state and media seek to denigrate and divide us, we join forces and defend our common right to send a strong signal from the streets of Berlin to our brothers and sisters in Palestine and around the world: Our struggle for the Freedom is a just fight! Our fight against imperialism is a just fight! We call on all groups in solidarity with Palestine and those fighting against imperialism around the world to join us and to stand up to repression.

Long live international solidarity!

Signing Groups

  • Samidoun Netzwerk
  • F.O.R. Palestine
  • Kommunistischer Aufbau
  • Young Struggle
  • Revolutionärer Jugendbund
  • Migrantifa – Berlin
  • Linksjugend Solid Nord-Berlin
  • SDAJ – Berlin
  • Rot feministische Jugend
  • Palästina Antikolonial
  • Free Palestine FFM
  • Palästina Spricht
  • Klasse gegen Klasse
  • Gruppe Arbeiter:innenmacht
  • Acciones Berlin
  • Revolution
  • Kommunistische Organisation
  • Solidaritätsnetzwerk
  • Internationale Jugend Berlin
  • FACQ
  • Palästinakomitee Stuttgart
  • Netzwerk Freiheit für alle politischen Gefangenen
  • ATIK (Konföderation der Arbeiter*innen aus der Türkei in Europa)
  • YDG (Neuer Demokratische Jugend)
  • Yeni Kadin (Neuer Frau)
  • BDS Deutschland
  • Kampagne Rise Up 4 Rojava

International Supporters

Europe

  • Alkarama (Movimiento de mujeres palestinas)
  • Collectif Palestine Vaincra
  • Secours Rouge Toulouse
  • International Jewish Antizionist Network IJAN
  • Jewish Voice for Labour (UK)
  • Jewish Network for Palestine
  • Jeunes pour la Palestine – Nantes
  • CAPJPO-Europalestine
  • Classe Contre Classe
  • Secours Rouge
  • Palestinian Youth Movement Sweden
  • Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines
  • April 28 Coalition for Migrants and Refugees Rights and Welfare
  • Union Juive Française pour la Paix
  • Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine
  • Revolution Permanente
  • Dutch Scholars for Palestine
  • Revolutionaire Eenheid
  • Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle
  • Al Yudur – Juventud Palestina
  • Col·lectiu Intifada
  • Jeunes Communistes 13

Brazil

  • Juventude palestina – Sanaúd
  • CSP-Conlutas
  • Frente Palestina Livre
  • Centro cultural palestino Aljaniah
  • Partido Comunista Brasileiro – PCB
  • Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado – PSTU
  • Partido Socialismo e Liberdade / Movimento Esquerda Socialista
  • União da Juventude Comunista – UJC
  • Liga de Parlamentarios por Al-Quds
  • Unidade Popular pelo Socialismo – UP
  • Monitor do Oriente
  • Amigos de Palestina
  • Fórum Latino Palestino
  • Articulação Internacional Julho Negro
  • Iniciativa Direito à Memória e Justiça Racial
  • Comitês Islâmicos de Solidariedade
  • Instituto de Estudos e Solidariedade para Palestina – Razan Al Najjar
  • Movimento pela Libertação da Palestina – Ghassan Kanafani

Lebanon

  • Palestinian Chess Forum – Shatila camp
  • Palestinian Cultural Club – Beirut
  • Palestinian Arab Cultural Club
  • The Naqab Center for Youth Activities – Burj Al-Barajneh Camp

North America

  • Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste
  • Within Our Lifetime — United for Palestine
  • Just Peace Advocates
  • GPM – GTA Palestine Movement
  • Freedom Road Socialist Organization
  • Canada Palestine Association
  • Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
  • Committee of Anti-Imperialists in Solidarity with Iran
  • International League of Peoples’ Struggle
  • Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle – Coast Salish Territories
  • Oakville Palestinian Rights Association
  • Palestinian Youth Movement
  • Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
  • April 28 Coalition for Migrants and Refugees Rights and Welfare
  • Canadian BDS Coalition
  • National Lawyers Guild International
  • Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians
  • Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
  • Gabriela BC
  • Sulong UBC
  • Human Rights 4 All Saskatchewan
  • Palestine Solidarity Network Edmonton
  • Edmonton Small Press Association
  • Friends of Sabeel North America
  • Migrante BC
  • Palestinian and Jewish Unity – Montreal
  • Peace Alliance Winnipeg
  • Justice for Palestinians, Calgary
  • Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid Victoria Canada
  • Niagara Coalition for Justice
  • US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
  • Labor for Palestine
  • Greater Toronto 4 BDS