Sunday, January 10, 2010

Free Jamal Juma'

UPDATE Jan 13: Jamal Juma' has been released! The impressive support of international civil society has moved governments and used the media to an extent that made his imprisonment too uncomfortable. Now let's ensure that the campaign for the freedom of all anti-wall activists and Palestinian political prisoners continues to grow. We have to combine our energies to ensure that the root cause – the Wall – will be torn down and the occupation will be brought to an end. the Zapatistas it looks like there's a professional army murdering a defenseless population. Who from below and to the left can remain silent? -Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos speaking about Gaza on January 4th, 2009 in Mexico at the World Festival of Dignified Rage

On December 15th, 2009, Jamal Juma’ became the highest profile arrestee in an intensifying campaign to squelch powerful grassroots mobilization against the Israeli Apartheid Wall and settlements. Juma' has been in prison since then, without charges, and will be making his next appearance in court on Tuesday. Please take action now to free him and others, such as Mohammad Othman and Abdallah Abu Rahma, who have been imprisoned in this latest wave of repression.

With these arrests, Israel aims to weaken Palestinian civil society and its influence on political decision making at the national and international level. This process clearly criminalizes the work of Palestinian human rights defenders and Palestinian civil disobedience. But we can seize the initiative, redirect the force of this attack and continue to isolate Israeli apartheid. We must remember that our strategic action is working. The most recent evidence for this comes from the warrants issued in London that are currently keeping Israeli officials, including former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, out of the UK for fear of being arrested for their participation in last year's atrocities in Gaza.

Stop the Wall is asking us to coordinate our actions with them to free Jamal Juma' and all the anti-Wall prisoners. Full details of how to be in touch with them and take action can be found here. They are calling on us to:
  • Organize petitions, demonstrations and letter writing and phone calling campaigns with friends, family and fellow members of organizations directed to our representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah as well as our nearest Israeli consulate.
  • Join their photo initiative
  • Bring this to the attention of local and national media outlets
  • Follow the online and social networking groups they've created to coordinate this struggle

Readers here at will find much inspiration in Jamal Juma''s work. He has a powerful vision of collective struggle and liberation...

Juma' speaking in November 2006 on behalf of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign:
We know that the Mexican Intifada continues and spreads to other states of the nation... The experience of these 60 years of resistance enable us to recognize our brothers in the Mexican indigenous communities who have resisted genocide for over 500 years. We salute the resistance of the people of Oaxaca against a corrupt puppet government and see in it a new point of reference for the struggle against imperialism.

In 2007, Juma' penned a piece for Left Turn Magazine illustrating how the movement they are building in Palestine is part of a much broader struggle:
But something is moving at an unexpected pace. People all over the world are starting to get an understanding of what is really happening in Palestine. Neither a “conflict” nor a “clash of civilizations”, it is about brutal apartheid and expulsion. This understanding is the fundamental basis on which the Palestinian United Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is built ... After 60 years of global support to our extinction, it is time to turn the tide ... Hundreds of organizations and initiatives are spreading among solidarity groups, churches, trade unions and political parties. This new global movement needs a strong foundation to be able to stand the attacks it has to face, but above all, in order to keep true to the principles of liberation, justice, and equality. We need to reach out to and join our efforts with all who are struggling against racism, war and global capital. The African Americans, indigenous peoples, immigrants, workers and farmers movements stand against the same oppressive and lethal mechanisms of power.

And just this past summer, Juma' helped host the first Indigenous Youth Delegation to Palestine. Jamal Juma' is a tireless fighter for freedom, justice and democracy, and it falls on all of us now to fight for him, and his fellow prisoners, and in doing so, to redirect the momentum of this attack back against those who stand in the way of liberation.

No comments: