On Friday, 22 September, commemorating the murder of Semira Adamu by Belgian police 25 years ago, during their sixth attempted forced deportation of the 20-year-old Nigerian woman, Samidoun Brussels organized an event on the deportation of migrants and refugees and the imprisonment of Palestinians.
The event highlighted the role of Western imperialism in forced migration and forced deportation, as well as the experiences of Palestinian refugees and migrants, particularly those held in detention in Europe and North America.
Speakers Khaled Barakat and Nermin Hwaihi highlighted the ways in which Western imperialism has conducted a war on the Palestinian and Arab peoples, through the Zionist movement, for over 70 years. They discussed racist policies and mechanisms of oppression against Palestinian, both inside Palestine and at the borders of countries where they have taken refuge in the past decade, such as Belgium and other European countries.
When Nermin Hwaihi recounted how she was treated four years ago by the Belgian institutions that were supposed to provide her with protection and welcome after she was forced to leave her homeland, indignation and anger prevailed among the crowd present. The most fundamental rights of a young woman, suffering from the siege on Gaza and the occupation and the ongoing violence it visits upon the Palestinian people, were violated by the same forces of Western imperialism that perpetuate these policies and crimes against the Palestinian people.
In his speech, Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer and member of the Executive committee of the Masar Badil, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, emphasized the role of Palestinians in exile and diaspora organizing themselves and continuing to resist imperialism, Zionism and racism, until return and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.
Throughout the questions and dialogue, many participants shared their observations and feelings, noting the passage of decades since 1948 and 25 years since the murder of Semira Adamu without meaningful and material change, where there are still peoples whose lives are considered less important than the lives of others, who daily live with the experience of violation of their physical and psychological integrity and the abrogation of their fundamental rights.
Participants in the event also expressed their solidarity with Zaid Abdulnasser, the coordinator of Samidoun Germany who is resisting attempts to deport him by the German state as part of a campaign of anti-Palestinian repression.
They called for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails, as well as Georges Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine who has been jailed in France for 39 years, and urged people to participate in the demonstration in Lannemezan, outside the jail where he is held, on 21 October 2023.