Political Prisoners Day Statement

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Today, Sunday April 17, 2016, join us and our allies as we launch the second Prison Divestment National Week of Action and mark the 42nd Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. We will gather at 1:30pm at Cadman Plaza and come out in full force to rally against the massive public investment and private prison companies that profit off of human rights violations in New York, Palestine, the US/Mexico border and prison detention centers around the world.

It is no secret that the U.S. is built on the foundation of genocide and enslavement of indigenous, Black, and other oppressed nationalities, and seeks to punish and imprison those who build power in antagonism with said foundation. And like its imperialist benefactor the United States, Israel imprisons Palestinians who seek justice from the violent Zionist settler state.

As of February of this year, Israel has detained 7,000 Palestinian political detainees, including 406 children and 670 administrative detainees. Israel true to its apartheid-like nature, has separate legal systems for Palestinians in the West Bank and the illegal settlers occupying it. While settlers enjoy their full fledged rights under the Israeli civilian system, Palestinians are subjected to the Israeli military court system.

Case in point, is twelve year old Dima al-Wawi the youngest girl in the world to be detained. She has been arrested and tried under the military courts for allegedly holding a knife and attempting to stab an Israeli soldier. Dima was questioned without the presence of her lawyers or parents, subsequently, she was coerced to sign a confession in Hebrew (a language that Dima does not understand). Dima’s case is not unique. In fact, coercion, torture, and psychological abuses are a general practice by the IDF soldiers and the Israeli military system put in place for Palestinians.

It is the link to U.S. imperialism that help make it possible for the Israeli military to orchestrate these kind of travesties. The U.S. spends 3 billion dollars a year on the Zionist state, which includes its military fund. Companies likes G4S, one of the largest security and imprisonment facilities in the world, provides services and equipment for Israeli prisons.

Zionism is built on, and maintains itself on the erasure of Palestinians, their history and their culture to survive. Israel, frantically trying to destroy the Palestinian spirit, finds itself confronted with the resistance that came before its establishment, and will live on after it’s destruction. Zionists can attempt new ways to divide and conquer Palestinians, but the oppressed peoples of the world will find a thousand more ways to resist and crush Zionism.

We will not stay silent at Israel’s farce of a so-called democracy and the United States’ hand in the colonization of Palestine. We unapologetically call out Israel for what it is: a European settler colonial state created through ethnic cleansing, displacements, and crippling national oppression. Zionism and a liberated Palestine can not exist concurrently, one will necessarily overcome the other. As Palestinians in the diaspora and internationalists, we know that Zionism can not be simply tolerated and reformed, it must be ended by any means necessary, as well as every ideology that upholds the imperialist system today.

Furthermore, the United States, as an imperialist nation, depends on Israel to further its control and influence in the region. We cannot call for a liberated Palestine without the defeat of US imperialism. We, as solidarity organizers for the Palestinian cause in the United States, must connect the struggles of all oppressed peoples here in the States and around the world. We must call out the US’ mass incarceration for what it is: genocide. Like Zionism, national oppression in the United States against Black people, Chicanos, First Nations and others is not something that can be voted away or changed by shifting the political narrative in popular media. Only by revolutionary struggle can these systems of oppression not only be managed, but they can be ended. From the detention centers in Arizona to the dungeons in occupied Hebron, FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW!

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