On Friday, 17 March, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra — a member organization of the Samidoun Network — organized a Palestine Stand at the Bagatelle metro station in Toulouse, France. The Stand came as part of the week of mobilization organized as part of the International Campaign to Liberate the Remains of Palestinian Martyrs detained in the morgues and “numbers cemeteries” of the occupation, a campaign endorsed by over 180 international organizations.
The stand was an expression of popular solidarity with these Palestinian families of the hundreds of Palestinians whose bodies are held captive by the occupation, who have called on the people of the world to act to liberate the remains of their loved ones.
In order to introduce this relatively unknown issue in France to the residents of the area, the Collectif distributed hundreds of flyers and had many discussions about this issue and the overall news from Palestine.
Many people were shocked to learn that the Israeli occupation currently holds 256 bodies of martyrs kept in “number cemeteries,” where Palestinians are buried with numbers rather than their names, as well as 131 other bodies that are stored in morgues. Wishing to show their solidarity, dozens of people took photos to send a message of support to the families of the martyrs, emphasizing that they are not alone in this fight for justice and dignity.
The flyer affirmed: “to make this situation known and to support these families is to provide meaningful support to the Palestinian people who have resisted colonization, occupation and apartheid for more than 75 years.” An activist from the Collectif Palestine Vaincra sent a video message reaffirming our commitment to these families:
The Collectif Palestine Vaincra also addressed this question on March 14 at the Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, during a conference on the current situation in occupied Palestine which brought together dozens of students. A few days later, the misnamed Place Tel Aviv in Toulouse was covered with a large poster in solidarity with the families whose mourning is prevented by the deeply reactionary practices of the Israeli occupation. As the International Campaign highlights, “By refusing to give their families the opportunity to bury their loved ones, the occupation is using the bodies of the martyrs as a mechanism to psychologically torture their families by detaining them for years and using them as a bargaining chip with the Palestinian resistance.”
In many European countries and around the world, this international week of action has highlighted and denounced these inhuman practices of the Israeli occupation. Above all, the Collectif aimed to send a message to the bereaved Palestinian families that not only are they not alone, but that they can rely on popular international solidarity!