Statement: Germany announces ban on Samidoun Network — we remain steadfast!

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is outraged at the statement of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Bundestag on 12 October 2023 where he declared his intention to ban Samidoun Network as an organization in Germany, which was supported by the ministry of interior shortly after.

As we write this message, Palestinians in Gaza are facing an overtly genocidal war carried out by the Israeli occupation regime. They have already bombed universities, schools, hospitals, mosques, residential towers, public markets and densely populated refugee camps. They have exterminated entire neighbourhoods with their warplanes and bombs, provided to them by the United States. 

As Israeli officials declare their intention to bomb and destroy Gaza, as they cut off accsss to water, food and electricity, as the health system collapses and patients die because they cannot receive the treatment they need from medical professionals, as ambulances are targeted, the Western media and the German press in particular has instead engaged in a racist smear campaign targeting Palestinian and Arab youth in Germany and the Samidoun Network in particular. 

The German state and all imperialist powers, following the lead of U.S. President Biden, are partners not only in the defamation and dehumanization of the Palestinian people but the murderous war crimes and crimes against humanity of the occupation regime.

In the streets of Berlin, police have beaten and detained numerous people, including Palestinians, Arabs, Germans and internationalists, for wearing a kuffiyeh or saying “Free Palestine.” For months and indeed years before October 7, they have banned demonstrations in support of Palestine. The immigration authorities are using their powers to strip the rights of Palestinian refugees who have already been exiled, who are denied their right to return home. 

If the German Chancellor and his government support the genocidal war on Gaza being carried out as we speak, it can be no surprise that they also seek to criminalize the ability of Palestinians and people of conscience to act against that war, to speak out, to organize, and to express support for the Palestinian people’s drive and struggle for freedom, justice and liberation. 

We are committed to challenging this proposed future ban by all legal means available to us. Today, the notorious fascist Itamar Ben Gvir announced that he was cutting water and electricity to the Palestinian prisoners in the Naqab prison and implementing his program of repression against all Palestinian prisoners. It is in this context that we view Scholz’ declaration and his incitement against the Palestinian people. 

Every imperialist power in the world is lining up to cheer for, fund and arm the destruction of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, Arabs and international people of conscience will not be complicit in this destruction. We are not afraid to speak out, act and organize to stop the genocide and to instead seek freedom. We will not be silent in the face of injustice, and we will not leave the Palestinians in Gaza, on the front lines of resistance, and in the prisons alone to confront the fires of murderous war. 

The Palestinian resistance are the true representatives of the Palestinian people, the only shield to defend the people and their land in the face of the war crimes of the occupation regime, the complicity of the Arab reactionary states and the full-scale involvement of the Western imperialist powers, including Germany, in the targeting and destruction of Palestinian life and existence. The Palestinian people’s will to live in freedom, to resist their occupier, and to obtain their rights will not be killed by murderous bombing raids or German political repression. 

Right now, a group of refugee youth in Germany are being targeted by the full weight of the machinery of state repression. This only reinforces our commitment to addressing the role of the Palestinian diaspora in the liberation of Palestine, and our commitment to the project of the Masar Badil: that the Palestinian people in exile and diaspora, when we organize ourselves, together with our Arab and internationalist comrades, can change the world. What is happening in Germany today is proof that we are walking down the right path, the path of justice. 

Despite the bombing, the torture, the massive colonial violence, the Palestinian people in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in occupied Palestine 48, in the refugee camps, and everywhere in exile and diaspora, continue to dream and act for a better future, a liberated future for Palestine, from the river to the sea. In Arabic, the word “Samidoun,” means those who are steadfast. We use this name to refer to the Palestinian prisoners, who remain behind bars, struggling for freedom. Today we affirm that we shall remain steadfast and committed to the Palestinian people, until victory, return and liberation.