As one of the events opening the International Week of Action to Free Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners, a protest was organized here on Jan. 15 under the famous arch in Washington Square Park. It was called by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
The crowd chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” and other slogans in support of justice for Palestine. A number of left parties and organizations, including Workers World Party, joined the demonstration, carrying signs and banners in support of the Palestinian struggle. Activists distributed flyers about Palestine and Palestinian prisoners to passersby, including information about the case of Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Sa’adat was arrested 17 years ago by the Palestinian Authority in the context of “security cooperation” with the Israelis. In 2006, he was seized from a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho, where he was being held under U.S. and British guards, and brought before an Israeli military court. There he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for leading a prohibited organization and “incitement.”
The PFLP is a major organization in Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. From behind bars, Sa’adat has been a leader in both the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the Palestinian national liberation movement. He stands alongside nearly 6,000 fellow Palestinian political prisoners as a symbol of internationalist resistance to capitalism, racism, apartheid and colonization.
On Jan. 24, Khaled Barakat, the international coordinator of the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat, will be speaking at a forum and discussion about the campaign hosted by the International Action Center and Workers World Party. The forum will be held at 147 West 24th St. in Manhattan and starts at 6:30 p.m.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace)