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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
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The Popular Front salutes the Egyptian people's intifada for dignity, freedom and social justice
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!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
With the rise of Political Islam the tactic of suicide bombing became widely employed, especially during the second intifada. What is the PFLP leadership’s position on suicide bombing as a tactic of the resistance movement?
We don’t see that it’s a way of facing occupation. We don’t see it as a strategic action or a strategic policy. But the question that should be asked before this question is, why do those Islamic factions use such a tactic? Those who went to different places to explode themselves, Israel minimises the distance between life and death to the extent that they didn’t see a difference between death and life, although we are the ones to defend the lives of people and not have the idea or the education of death. The Islamic groups use this to face the Israelis among the civilians which Israel used to get “Those Palestinians are terrorists!”
Why, we asked the question, who planted terror in our country? Isn’t it occupation? It is.
But at the same time we have advised our brothers in Hamas and Al Jihad that using this, it’s a controversial thing so they have stopped it afterwards. Because when we say that Israel target civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza strip whether by assassinating or by bombarding, like what happened in Jenin in 2002 and in Gaza last year, we have to (inaudible) we must protect lives of civilians and the Israelis who are not. That’s why you haven’t seen any of these actions. But when I said that we want to ask the question, why those people who are young who also dream of a good future and a bright future go and explode themselves? Because they didn’t find any other means. And the ideology that they are going to paradise is also one of the factors that provoked them to do it but now it has stopped and I think they realised that such action is not for the interests of the struggle.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Founding document of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - December 1967
People of the Arab nation....
People of Palestine...
Fifty years ago, the masses of our people faced a continuing series of assaults by Zionism and colonialism upon the people of this nation, and our right right to liberty and life. Fifty years later and the global forces of Zionism and imperialism continue concocting plots, attacks and wars in order to establish the idea of an entity - the State of Israel. On each day of this historic era, the masses of people are struggling against each of these schemes. We have seen throughout the years in the life of our Palestinian people, a continuation of this struggle through upheavals and uprisings, crystallizing in the last period in commando work practiced by the vanguards of the people on the ground with full refusal of submission, surrender and compromise, and other serious forms and methods of political action. This advance has also represented the determination of the masses of the Palestinian people to take the initiative to pave a road to full emancipation, which is simultaneously the responsibility of the entire Arab masses.
Our struggling people..
The military defeat suffered by the Arab armies served as the beginning of a new phase of work in which the revolutionary masses must take their responsible leadership role in confronting the forces and weapons of imperialism and Zionism, which history has proved is the most effective weapon to crush all forms of colonial aggression and to give the initiative to the popular masses to formulate the future according to their will and interests. The only weapon left to the masses in order to restore history and progress and truly defeat enemies and potential enemies in the long run is revolutionary violence in confronting Zionist violence and reaction. There is no other option in front of the masses of the Arab nation - they face a fierce enemy who wants them to surrender unconditionally. The hopes and anticipation of the Arab masses have reached a qualitatively new level from before the fifth of June; they are aware of the nature of the stage and the objective conditions have matured to the extent that allows us to raise the slogan of the popular armed struggle and put it into practice until victory in a long and protracted battle, a victory that must be achieved through the will and aspirations of the masses.
The entire masses of our Palestinian people live today for the first time since the catastrophe of 1948 on a completely occupied Palestinian territory, confronting a rapacious enemy face to face, and we now must take up this challenge to its conclusion or we must accept or surrender to the ambitions of the enemy and the daily humiliation of our people and absorbed fortunes of our lives. The displacement and dispersion of the last twenty years have created a circumstance in which we must confront the Zionist invaders; the fate of our people and our cause and every human being in Palestine relies upon our Palestinian determination to fight the invaders in order to preserve our dignity, and our lands and our rights.
Palestinian people displaced in the camps of displacement and isolation ...
Tillers of our inflamed land...
Oh poor, steadfast in our cities and villages, in the camps of misery...
Through your valor and resistance in confronting the enemy, one slogan is paramount and repeated daily - only armed resistance, and there is no life for us on our occupied land except the life of popular armed struggle in the service of our objectives and the daily battle. The armed resistance is the only effective method that must be used by the popular masses in dealing with the Zionist enemy and all of its interests and its presence, the masses are the authority, the guide, and the resistance leadership from which victory will be achieved in the end. It is necessary to recruit the popular masses and mobilize them as active participants and leaders, something that can only be achieved through systematic organization addressing the armed struggle of the forces of the masses, creating a heightened awareness of the full dimensions of the battle and the stages, and continuous recruitment of manpower for the armed organization, building he revolutionary leadership in order to become more able to exercise resistance and continue despite all the difficulties and obstacles. Therefore, in order to unite the forces and energies of the Palestinian masses in the occupied land, we have held a full meeting between the following Palestinian organizations: The Heroes of the Return, the Palestinian Liberation Front squads (Organization of martyr Abdul Latif Shrour - Organization of the martyr Qassam - Organization of the martyr Abdul-Qader Al-Husseini), the National Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Youth Organization for Vengeance), and several other Palestinian groups on the homeland. These organizations have agreed among themselves to unite under the banner of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, achieving a fateful unity among these forces, realizing that the nature and dimensions of the battle and the hostile forces requires us to cluster all efforts and revolutionary ranks for our long and bitter struggle against our enemies.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, iniiated and directed by a core group of revolutionaries, is at the same time open to all forces and Palestinian groups, to meet in a broad national revolutionary front in order to achieve a national unity established between all factions engaged in armed struggle. The unity of all the freedom fighters is real demand for our people, as the battle is long and cruel and rupture is intolerable in the ranks of the national movement, and therefore the Popular Front is dedicated entirely to this requirement, because it has formed on this basis. Today our masses are marching through the doors of armed struggle and we believe that the masses' leadership in the armed struggle, bearing its standard as the only guarantee for the steadfastness of this struggle and its escalation up to the level of the Palestinian revolution, with all of its dimensions and content.
Our fighting people...
The only language that the enemy understands is the language of revolutionary violence. The armed struggle is the main curriculum for our protracted conflict that we are waging against occupation and against attempts to liquidate our struggle through attempts at settlement, which have begun again in some areas of the Arab homeland and impose a totally unacceptable occupation upon some parts of our Arab land. We are fighting against the enemy in every land where the feet of his soldiers march. This is our historical approach - where we are going until we reach the stage where we open a wider front against the enemy and turn our land into a burning hell for the invaders. The crossfire of armed struggle is not known to have limits and the armed resistance should not be confined to the militants, but also embrace all parts and sectors of the Palestinian resistance against the enemy at every level, dealing with the enemy militarily, but also a total boycott of all economic, civil and political institutions of the enemy and a rejection of all ties.
The slogan of our masses must be resistance until victory, rooted in the heart with our feet planted on the ground in deep commitment to our land. Today, the Popular Front is hailing our masses with this call. This is the appeal. We must repeat it every day, through every breakthrough bullet and the fall of each martyr, that the land of Palestine today belongs to all the masses. Every area of our land belongs to our masses who have defended it against the presence of the usurper, every piece of land, every rock and stone, our masses will not abandon one inch of them because they belong to the legions of the poor and hungry and displaced persons. In order to liberate this land, and for our steadfast people, our fighters today fall with their heads lifted. The masses - Oh sons of our heroic people - are the lifebreath of the fighters, and it is the involvement of the masses in the battle that ensures victory in the long run. The popular support for the militants at all levels in every land form the basis for genuine, firm, and escalating struggle and steadfastness, rising until we crush the enemy.
In this war for our occupied land, and the fate of collaborators and traitors and enemies of the people will be the fate of the occupying enemy, crushed in full. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is determined to reject delay and hesitation in engaging in the struggle in our occupied land and declares its determination to reject humility and humiliation and settlements. We stand today before our masses, our people, promising to provide them with the truth, the whole truth in every respect, regarding our struggles, achievements and obstacles facing our armed action. The truth must be the property of the masses because there is no other force more committed to their own interests. The masses must be fully aware of the achievements and problems of the armed struggle without exaggeration or hype because they are the custodians of the objectives of this struggle and their aspirations, which will be given to this struggle, include every possession, up to their blood. The active members, the fighters on the Palestinian land today pursue a new path of political action and deal with the masses with full openness and truth.
People of the Arab nation ...
This battle is long and harsh, and the armed resistance today is the vanguard of fighting along the steadfast Arab front. Every Arab demands today to providefull support for the march of the armed combat corps at all levels. The Palestinian fighting masses on the occupied land are actors of the Arab revolutionary march against imperialism and its proxy forces. In our response to the Zionist alliance and colonialism, we must make the organic link between the struggle of the Palestinian people and the struggle of the masses of the Arab people, facing the same risks and the same schemes, and therefore the work of the Palestinian armed struggle determines the position of the Arabs who stand by the struggle, against those who stand against it. The struggle of the Palestinian people is linked with the struggle of the forces of revolution and progress in the world, the format of the coalition that we face requires a corresponding governing coalition including all the forces of anti-imperialism in every part of the world.
Our struggling masses everywhere on Palestinian land...
Fellow workers and peasants ..
Oh poor people and refugees ..
Fellow students ..
Clerks and traders...
This is the beginning of a movement of the people flying the flags of sacrifice, steadfastness and challenge. We are on the ground and we promise that armed struggle is not a rosy dream, but more fighting, led by the political mobilization of the masses to defend the defenseless against reprisal and persecution. We are marching each fighting step today, preparing to fight a long, harsh and bitter battle with your leadership and commitment as the true owners of the cause. That battle is not easy nor quick, but it is the battle of destiny and its presence requires our deep commitment, ability to continue, and steadfastness.
Glory to the steadfast of our Arab nation
Glory to the struggle of our people
Long live the unity of our fighters on the land of Palestine
We will surely win
December 11, 1967