The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine pays tribute to the people of Egypt and their Intifada for dignity, freedom and social justice, and greets the masses of our Arab nation as they move, across the Arab homeland, for freedom, rights, liberation, democracy, social justice and unity. At this pinnacle moment for the Arab people, we totally and unwaveringly stand by the choice of the Egyptian nation for democracy and progress.
The PFLP salutes these glorious history-making days which are being made by the Arab people, and stands fully and completely with the people's democratic movement and the progressive forces seeking their national rights, democracy, and social justice. We stand beside our fellow Arab sisters and brothers to build modern movements and institutions that reflect the true will and interests of the Arab people and serve the people's objectives and ambitions, not the ambitions of imperialism, Zionism, or their obedient allies. We pay tribute to the Egyptian people who have rebelled for the sake of their dignity, freedom, and social justice; to the masses of the Arab nations who strive for the freedom of their homeland and the right to be human
Furthermore, the PFLP said that these events in Egypt and Tunisia, and the inspiring mobilization of vast sectors of the people in a popular movement for liberation must serve as a warning to all other Arab regimes that if our people do not receive dignity, freedom, and national sovereignty, they will take their rights and leave any regimes behind who fail to recognize that the day of dictatorship and collaboration with Zionism is over.
The Popular Front said further that the struggle of the Palestinian people and its national liberation movement is an integral part of the struggle of the peoples of the Arab nation. Every step forward of this great emancipation movement of the Arab people is affects the Palestinian cause and empowers our struggle for liberation. Emancipation affects not only the people who are freed, but change itself. Now is the time to strengthen our national and democratic struggle for liberation, and to come together to stand alongside, arm in arm, with the Egyptian people, their great Intifada, and their determination to achieve their goals, and the freedom of Egypt not only from dictatorship, but from U.S. imperialism and Zionism, who are frantically attempting to halt the triumph of the Egyptian people and circumvent their noble goals.
The PFLP is firmly convinced that the Egyptian people's struggle is not only justi, it is powerful, and it will bring defeat to this regime and send a harbinger of defeat to all Arab regimes which prey on our people while obeying U.S. and Zionist dictates. Israel and the U.S. are openly displaying their weakness and fear in the face of the popular movement of the Egyptian people, whose rise has always been a symbol of the rise of the Arab nation, and freedom from subservience, colonialism and fear. The Egyptian people are on a great and historic march toward victory for Egypt, for the Arab nation, and for Palestine. Glory to the Egyptian Intifada!
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Friday, May 6, 2011
The Israeli occupation courts have, once again, extended the isolation of Ahmad Sa'adat. On May 3, 2011, at a hearing in Beersheba prison, the court issued an extended isolation order until November 3, 2011. Ahmad Sa'adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian national leader, has been held in isolation since March 19, 2009 - for over two full years, over 775 days.
It is well-established that solitary confinement and isolation are dangerous and detrimental to the physical and mental health of prisoners. It is a technique frequently used against political prisoners, from the U.S.'s Guantanamo Bay and Communications Management Units, to Ben Ali's isolation cells in Tunisia, to the prisons of the occupation. Israel is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whose articles 10 states that "All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person." On the contrary, isolation cells deprive prisoners of human contact, recreation, and mental stimulation. Sa'adat is regularly denied family visits, newspapers, books, and information in Arabic. While Israel's utter contempt for international law is visible in every aspect of its behaviour, from its war crimes against Palestinians, to its denial of the Palestinian right to return, to its apartheid regime targeting Palestinian citizens, the situation of Palestinian prisoners is a glaring example of Israel's flouting of international law and human rights standards.
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) - the expert body associated with the Council of Europe - has noted, "It is generally acknowledged that all forms of solitary confinement without appropriate mental and physical stimulation are likely, in the long-term, to have damaging effects resulting in deterioration of mental faculties and social abilities." Those prisoners targeted for isolation, including Ahmad Sa'adat, are long-time Palestinian leaders. Sa'adat has always been a leader among his fellow prisoners and a voice of conscience of the Palestinian people - and it is for that reason that he is being targeted under cover of secret evidence for isolation and deprivation.
Sa'adat refused to attend the hearing, as an illegal manifestation of an illegitimate occupation and abduction, and due to its reliance on secret evidence, saying that he refused to legitimize what was clearly a mockery of justice.
This extension of isolation comes as Palestinian prisoners have launched hunger strikes in protest against the use of isolation. The strikes began on May 3 at Ramon, Ashkelon and Nafha prisons and will also take place on May 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, and 28. Palestinian prisoners - inside the jails of the occupation - are taking action against isolation and demanding freedom. It is imperative that we echo their voices and demand an end to isolation and freedom for Palestinian prisoners.
The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat also notes that Dr. Ahmad Qatamesh, long-time Palestinian activist and writer, has been subject to the imposition of arbitrary administrative detention and demands his freedom. As Addameer reveals, his administrative detention order - extended minutes before he was to be released from was merely copied from another Palestinian prisoner - bearing witness once again to the fact that administrative detention is nothing more than an arbitrary kidnapping and imprisonment of Palestinians, without charge or trial, for six months at a time. Administrative detention, based on nothing more than secret evidence, has been used to target and silence Palestinian activists when even the flimsy standards of Israeli military courts cannot be used to imprison Palestinian writers, activists and community organizers. The Campaign demands the freedom of Ahmad Qatamesh and an end to the horror that is administrative detention, a mechanism of terror against the Palestinian population.
From administrative detention, to military trials, to the isolation cells, Israel shows utter contempt for the human rights and dignity of Palestinian prisoners. In response, it is urgent that supporters of Palestine and justice around the world raise their voices to demand an end to isolation, an end to arbitrary detention - and the freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and every one of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners of freedom, in an occupation's jails for daring to struggle for the freedom of their land and people.
We urge activists to include statements and messages of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in their events, and as the anniversary of Al-Nakba comes near, to mark the Nakba on May 15 by demanding the right to return and the liberation of Palestine -including the freedom of Palestinian political prisoners. Palestinian prisoners are hunger striking and raising their voices behind bars - we must join their voices and demand their freedom!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
To local and international friends, supporters, and readers,
Yesterday, February 22, an immense earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand’s third largest city. Currently there are 55 confirmed dead, 20 unidentified bodies, and an estimated 300 missing. The quake occurred at 12.50pm and was followed shortly after by a major aftershock.
This is the second major earthquake to strike Christchurch in 5 months. This more recent quake – 6.3 – in magnitude was far more destructive than the last, as it occurred only 10 Km south of
Christchurch at the shallow depth of 5 Km. It happened during the lunch hour of a working week day which has compounded human suffering and trauma.
As well as injury and loss of life there has been major damage to buildings, houses, and infrastructure. Soil liquefaction has damaged roads and transport. Originally there was an estimated 80% loss of power, as of mid-day today the estimate is now 50%. Currently three quarters of the city has no water. Phone lines and signal towers have also been wrecked or severely damaged. The Canterbury television building completely collapsed and has been one of the focal points for rescue efforts. There is concern that the Hotel Grand Chancellor- the tallest building in Christchurch – may still collapse from extreme buckling. The township of Lyttleton was at the epicenter of the earthquake and was extensively damaged.
To support local services, search and rescue, medical, and other teams have been deployed and continue to be deployed from other New Zealand cities and a range of countries including Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, and the UK. A specialist urban search and rescue team from Australia was the first group of international helpers to arrive. This has highlighted the great possibilities of international solidarity.
Thousands of ordinary people have volunteered to help, including through the Red Cross and also grassroots groups such as the post-earthquake University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army. Such voluntary activity reveals the potential for people to act in a strong spirit of social solidarity.
The government has declared a state of emergency and this afternoon held its third emergency cabinet meeting. The Christchurch City Council has advised people to help in their local communities and suburbs but to not travel. Five main welfare centers have been established in/around Christchurch.
Earthquakes are unavoidable and the government will of course do its best within the constraints of the capitalist system to coordinate the best possible response, especially in the search and rescue phase. However, because of the social inequalities inherent within capitalism, it will become particularly important for progressive organisations raise our voices high in regard to the welfare of ordinary people and those with the least resources when the city enters its recovery and rebuilding phase.
Amongst those who have suffered from the earthquake are Workers Party members and their families in Christchurch. Thankfully they are all uninjured.
At this early stage the Workers Party has no formal relationship to any particular relief provider. Currently we encourage all members, supporters, and readers to contribute financially and materially, particularly through workplace collections.
- Representative committee of Workers Party