A Palestinian prisoners’ group welcomed the show of support, noting the long and powerful history of Black-Palestinian solidarity.
Shortly after Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails ended their hunger strike with nearly 80 percent of their demands agreed to by the apartheid state, organizers from the U.S.-based solidarity group, Black4Palestine, sent a message of congratulations.
We are a group of Black, African, Arab and Palestinian people here in the city of Detroit — on occupied territory in the United States,” they began in the video that featured a water rights activists, a former Black Panther, a formerly incarcerated community member and one man who fasted for 140 days to resist his eviction.
“We’re calling for the decolonization of Zagajibiising (Detroit) and all of Turtle Island (North America) and Palestine. And we’re here in solidarity with you. Free the water!” the Black and Arab organizers said in unison, referring to Detroit’s municipal government’s threats to shut off the water of thousands of families who cannot afford to pay their water bills.
The activists concluded their message by chanting a slogan of Assata Shakur, a former Black Panther revolutionary, who since escaping from prison in the United States, has been living for decades in Cuba.
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win! We must love and support each other!” they shouted. “We have nothing to lose but our chains! We have nothing to lose but our chains! We have nothing to lose but our chains!”
In response, the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network saluted the organizers, saying in a statement Monday, “The history of Black-Palestinian solidarity is one that is deep, long and storied, stretching from the streets of Detroit to the refugee camps of Lebanon and Palestine over decades of struggle confronting racism, colonialism, capitalism and imperialism.”
“The arena of struggle of political prisoners and confrontation of mass colonial incarceration is one that is of shared importance and priority in the Palestinian and Black Liberation movements. We express our full solidarity with the Black Liberation movement and demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in U.S. jails,” the group added.
As the prisoners’ strike ended Saturday, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ officials confirmed Sunday that 80 percent of their demands, ranging from family visits to better conditions for women and children prisoners, were agreed to by the Israeli Prisons Service. Palestinians celebrated the news on the streets of the occupied territory.