As the prisoners’ hunger strike goes on, things are getting really serious and dangerous. Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab passed their 70th day of strike, and the majority of the 2000 striking prisoners are on their 25th day. Everybody is on his last nerves and rumors about the martyrdom of some prisoner are spreading like fire – fortunately, till now, to be denied shortly later.
So every other important thing is now suspended as the solidarity with the strike takes precedence. And the solidarity campaign is gaining more and more public support here, in the 48-occupied part of Palestine. This weekend there are more than a dozen different public activities: A mass assembly of the Islamic movement in Kfar Kana; Several protest tents hold educational and cultural activities; “El-Rabeta” is calling for protest demos around the country; The young female activists from the communist party club in Nazareth published a list of activities; The Ghassan Kanafani youth are organizing an event in Akko and more and more…
In Haifa we did the first demo in the first week of the strike, and a demo + cultural event the week after. So now people felt we should do more. So this weekend a group of 8 activists started a hunger strike at the “Prisoner’s Square” in the middle of the touristic Arab quarter of the German Colony. Around the concept of the hunger strike we opened a tent, or rather a small tents’ camp. For tomorrow, Saturday 12/5, we plan a marching demo through the main Arab neighborhoods of Abbas and Wadi Nisnas, to arrive at the solidarity tent.
The announcement of the solidarity Hunger Strike aroused public attention and some 100 youth gathered on Thursday night for the spontaneous opening of the tent. This morning (Friday 11/5) the local police and Zionist municipality also showed interest, when a common force of policemen and municipality inspectors appeared at 10:30 in the Prisoner’s Square, started to tear off the slogans and Palestinian flags from the walls, and demanded that the strikers pack and go, threatening to confiscate their personal belongings. In the end there was some compromise, the tents were removed but the Hunger Strikers stayed. As the news of the police attack spread by Facebook and SMS, many of the Haifa public of all ages and occupations showed up and filled the Prisoners’ square.
Now the virtual tent is quite again, waiting for the night activities, and there is no much to do. So this is my chance to blog this post, and maybe another one about the politics of the solidarity campaign, on condition that you read it while in some solidarity tent or on the bus on your way to the next demo.