Solidarity in Toulouse with Maher al-Akhras and all Palestinian prisoners

On Friday, 25 August, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra — a member organization of the Samidoun Network based in Toulouse, France — organized a Palestine Stand at the Bagatelle metro station in Toulouse. This action is part of the mobilization to free the 5,100 Palestinian men, women and children unjustly detained by the Israeli occupation, including over 1,200 in administrative detention: imprisonment without charge or trial, indefinitely renewable.

Raising awareness in the neighbourhood about the Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian liberation struggle, organizers raised banners and posters calling for the release of all Palestinian prisoners, including Georges Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine imprisoned in France for 39 years. On 21 October, a mass demonstration in Lannemezan — outside the prison where he is held — will demand his release. The Masar Badil, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, is mobilizing for all supporters of Palestine to attend the demonstration, which is organized annually by a wide coalition of groups in France.

Activists at the stand informed passers-by about the major wave of resistance taking place in the colonial jails, as the Zionist authorities increase their attacks on prisoners and engage in mass arrests targeting Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and occupied Palestine ’48. They displayed the portraits of the 11 hunger strikers acting to resist administrative detention and punitive measures, reaffirming that their struggle is ours, against colonialism and apartheid.

Among them is Palestinian leader Maher al-Akhras, who was arrested on 23 October by the occupation forces and launched an immediate hunger strike, just as he did when he was arrested in 2020. He is an important figure in the Palestinian prisoners’ movement who won his last release from administrative detention in 2020 with a 103-day hunger strike that received broad international support, including in the Bagatelle neighbourhood.

The stand also highlighted the case of Walid Daqqah, Palestinian intellectual and freedom fighter who is battling cancer in a prison of the Israeli occupation regime. His release has been repeatedly denied despite the grave danger to his life.

A number of passers-by took solidarity photos to show their support and emphasize that the hunger strikers are not alone and can rely on popular international solidarity.

Participants in the stand also distributed hundreds of flyers to call for a boycott of fruits and vegetables “made in apartheid,” grown on stolen Palestinian land, especially to indicate the importance of mobilizing in our local communities against the Zionist project and its accomplices.

Even the outdoor market and the Aldi store in the neighbourhood regularly sell citrus fruits or mangoes that come from Israeli agribusiness conglomerates that exploit Palestinian land, resources and labour. Refusing to buy these products is refusing to participate in supporting the economy of colonialism and exploitation. Many people were eager to learn about this campaign and stopped by the stand to collect free stickers and flyers, including about the campaign to boycott sports equipment manufacturer Puma and pharmaceutical company Teva.

The Collectif Palestine Vaincra regularly organizes actions and various initiatives to support the Palestinian people and their resistance in Toulouse. Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to participate and to follow us on our various social networks (Facebook, Twitter, InstagramTikTok and Telegram).