Samidoun Vancouver hosts Liberation Iftar, celebrates victory of Palestinian prisoners

On Saturday, 25 March, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in Vancouver organized a Liberation Iftar/Dinner to commemorate Palestinian Land Day, celebrate the victory of Palestinian prisoners over the jailer, and raise funds to support the upcoming Liberation Conference for Palestine in Ottawa. The event included an abundant iftar meal, political speeches, and cultural performances, all in a warm atmosphere of international solidarity and collective struggle.

The event was opened by Dave Diewert of Samidoun Vancouver, who delivered a strong message of solidarity and joint struggle between Palestinian liberation and the Indigenous struggle for sovereignty and self-determination throughout Turtle Island. He urged the importance of strengthening these relations of struggle and building a broad popular movement that supports the Palestinian people and their resistance confronting Zionism, imperialism and reaction. Emphasizing that the struggle is for return and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea, he noted that it is important to be clear and critical in order to uphold a meaningful vision of justice and liberation for Palestine.

This was followed by a speech by Hanan Dudin, addressing student and youth organizing for Palestine, especially the work of students at the University of British Columbia in winning a boycott and divestment resolution targeting companies profiting from Israeli occupation as well as other corporate rights violators. She discussed the growth in this movement in the recent period and the victories obtained by the student movement over Zionist organizations attempting to block its progress, and emphasized the importance of student work in building an effective movement to support Palestinian liberation.

She also discussed the work of the Masar Badil, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, especially its establishment in 2021 and the March of Return and Liberation in Brussels in 2022, urging participation in the Masar’s upcoming Liberation Conference in Ottawa.

Charlotte Kates, international coordinator of the Samidoun network, spoke about the achievement of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement just days ago, emphasizing that the Palestinian prisoners are actively participating in the resistance. She noted that the prisoners recognized the opportunity for new achievements amid the internal contradictions in the Zionist state and defeated the notorious fascist Itamar Ben Gvir and the prison administration with their serious unity, commitment and determination.

She also called on participants to join the struggle in every way possible, including by building boycott campaigns that support the Palestinian people’s return and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea, in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance and uprising in occupied Palestine. In particular, she urged all to join the Canada Palestine Association on 1 April in the demonstration to boycott Israeli wines at the BC Liquor Store, which sells Zionist products from both the occupied West Bank of Palestine and the occupied Golan Heights of Syria.

Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer and co-founder of the Masar Badil,  the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, spoke about the Palestinian political scene today, noting that “The Palestinian people are inspired by the experiences and struggles of peoples internationally, including the Indigenous liberation struggle, the Black Liberation struggle, and liberation movements around the world.” He noted that today, the Palestinian liberation struggle presents a living example of the ability to continue to escalate a revolution and pursue a liberation struggle in the face of colonialism and occupation throughout Palestine, backed up by imperialist powers.

He condemned the Canadian government’s complicity and active participation in the crimes of the occupation, including its ongoing silence on the recruitment for the Israeli occupation military taking place in Canada as well as the tours of Zionist military officers to Canadian campuses. He called for action to confront such visits and escalating the boycott campaign in all universities and academic institutions.

The event concluded with a musical performance by Callum of Samidoun Vancouver, who performed several revolutionary songs, including one in honor of Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian leader, writer, struggler and martyr. The songs were met with warm and enthusiastic applause by all present.

The evening was a successful event on multiple levels, with attendees joining in a warm spirit of camaraderie, joint struggle and collective solidarity. To get involved and learn more about Samidoun Vancouver, email or visit us on Twitter or Instagram.