Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Free Ahmad Sa’adat!

Last Wednesday [October 13] witnessed a number of actions across Ireland in support of the jailed Palestinian revolutionary Ahmad Sa’adat.

Members of éirígí in Dublin mobilised in response to the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat’s call for global days of action in solidarity with Sa’adat. Solidarity events under the auspices of the campaign were planned to occur around the world between October 5 and 15.

Members of éirígí, through their actions, brought the case of the general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] not only to the ordinary people of Ireland but to the doorstep of the Israeli Embassy in Dublin also.

Ahmad Sa’adat has now been in prison for the last eight-and-a-half years, over 600 days of which he has spent in solitary confinement. Sa’adat has spent at least five other periods in prison because of his involvement in the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Palestine.

Sa’adat, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was attending a meeting with Palestinian Authority security officials on January 15 2002, when they abducted him at the behest of the zionist state and imprisoned him in the Muqata’a compound in Ramallah, later transferring him to Jericho.

In March 2006, with Sa’adat having been interned without charge or trial for over four years, the Israeli army laid siege to Jericho for 12 hours. In the siege, two Palestinian prisoners were killed and Sa’adat and five comrades were kidnapped and transferred to Israeli prisons.

Israel finally tried Sa’adat and, on December 25 2008, sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment. He was convicted of membership of a prohibited organisation [the PFLP], holding a post in a prohibited organisation, and incitement, for a speech he gave following the zionist assassination of his predecessor, Abu Ali Mustafa, in August 2001.

At the protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin, members of éirígí, bearing PFLP flags and a banner inscribed with the words Free Ahmad Sa’adat – End the Occupation of Palestine were warmly received by passing members of the public. As always, the Garda were on hand to try and save the blushes of the zionists, harassing the activists as they brought details of Sa’adat’s plight to the public’s attention.

At the protest, éirígí’s Daithí Mac an Mhaistír said: “éirígí is fully supportive of the campaign to free Ahmad Sa’adat. It is very apparent from the support we have received here today that Palestine and its people have many friends in Dublin. We take this opportunity to call on all other progressive organisations in Ireland to get involved in the struggle not only for his liberation, but for the liberation of all of Palestine on a secular and socialist basis. It is for his stand on the issue of socialist revolution that Ahmad Sa’adat is being tortured in an Israeli prison this very day.

“Judging by the reaction both of Israeli Embassy staff and the police, it is very apparent also that the powers-that-be fear what Ahmad Sa’adat and the revolutionary socialist politics of the PFLP represent. The harassment of éirígí members was designed to try and force us to call off the protest in an attempt to stop that message getting to the people of Dublin.

“They were not successful nor will they ever be, for, as Bobby Sands once said, ‘you cannot put a noose around the neck of an idea’. As much as the forces of reaction would wish it to be otherwise, we will never give up highlighting and opposing the crime of the zionist occupation of Palestine – given its intimate connection with the question of imperialism generally. As Ahmad Sa’adat himself has said, ‘we are not going to surrender. We are going to face our destiny with courage’.”

Other actions included the holding of an information stall at the General Post Office in Dublin’s O’Connell Street. As was the case at the embassy protest, éirígí members were monitored by at least one Israeli official as they distributed thousands of leaflets detailing Sa’adat’s case. A petition demanding his release was also signed by many passing members of the public.

Posters demanding Sa’adat’s release were also erected in many locations across the capital.

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