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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #302 - Palestine: Civil resistance strengthens (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 15 Feb 2020 09:33:27 +0200

A UCL activist was able to take part in the Conference of the Palestinian People's Resistance which took place from 24 to 27 October last, in the Al Farah camp not far from Tubas in the West Bank. The opportunity to take the pulse of civil and non-violent resistance to the occupation and to strengthen international solidarity. ---- The Conference of the Palestinian Popular Resistance held from October 24 to 27, in the Al Farah camp not far from Tubas in the West Bank is the result of long work by activists of the popular resistance (at namely nonviolent resistance) from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), Stop The Wall (STW) and independent committees.
Faced with the ferocity of Israeli repression and the division of popular forces, the Palestinian peaceful resistance movement is currently at an impasse.

Aware of these difficulties, Palestinian activists are now choosing unity in order to define a common strategy, to help the sometimes isolated committees, and to strengthen ties with the international solidarity movement.

Initially organized independently of the Palestinian Authority (the Palestinian government), officials ultimately had to contend with the presence of members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a coalition of parties dominated by Fatah which currently rules the West Bank. This government takeover of the conference was not without consequences: popular resistance organizations, such as the Youth Against Settlements (YAS), based in Hebron, refused to maintain their participation. This rejection of the Palestinian Authority, and of its leader Mahmoud Abbas, accused of corruption, treason and immobility, is today a striking element in Palestinian public opinion.

Nearly 200 participants from twenty or so popular committees finally participated in this conference. Alongside them, around 80 internationals were present, notably from Spain, Italy, France, Scotland, England, Korea and Catalonia.

The flag of Palestine on a colony
If the first day turned out to be very formal with speeches by political and religious representatives and round tables on the perception of popular resistance by the " officials ", the second turned out to be more interesting. 'an activist point of view. Participatory workshops, mixing Palestinians, Palestinians and internationals, aimed to build the strategy of popular resistance and international support: what actions for popular resistance ? ; international law ; the B oycott D ivestment S anctions (BD...) campaign.

We also discussed the place of women in popular resistance, which is becoming an issue taken into account by activists.

The third day of the conference was devoted to a " popular action " which consisted in investing an outpost (wild colony, considered as illegal including by Israel) in the region of Tubas and raising the Palestinian flag there. Never had such an action been carried out according to our Palestinian comrades. More than a hundred people participated, many of them from the conference, including many internationals and anti-colonial Israelis, essential in this kind of initiative.

In fact, in the event of intervention by the occupying army, it is often they who come into contact with the military in order to protect the escape of Palestinians. Israelis risking little punishment from their own authorities.

This action is part of the new forms of struggle initiated since 2013 in the West Bank. They aim not only to protest but to show the determination of the Palestinians to reinvest the stolen land. Symbolic action, crowned with success: the Palestinian flag flew on one of the barracks of this outpost held by extremist settlers.

This demonstration allowed us to become aware of the repression orchestrated by the Israeli army against the Palestinian resistance. Arrived at the time of the dispersal, followed by several hours of prosecution, attacks and violence against our group of activists.

The result: more than thirty arrests, including nine internationals including five French men and women, Israeli anti-colonialists and of course Palestinians. Journalists' materials covering the event have been confiscated or destroyed.

On paper, the Palestinian popular resistance comes out reinforced from this conference with a feeling of unification underway. However, the will to control this movement by the Palestinian Authority constitutes and will constitute a real obstacle for its sustainability.

What international solidarity ?
The Palestinian activists we met, regardless of their party affiliation, are unanimous in their expectations regarding the support that foreign activists can give them, namely to popularize their cause in our respective countries by all necessary means.: conferences, debates, broadcasting of films, distribution of leaflets, rallies, etc. In France, pro-Palestinian support now appears divided and aging.

Intensify the BD.. campaign.
While the economic impact for Israel may seem negligible, the cultural boycott is very effective with public opinion, notably with the campaigns against Eurovision and the partnership between the town halls of Paris and Tel Aviv.

Interpellate the public authorities in France (mayors, deputies, senators, etc.) so that the situation of Palestine continues to occupy public space.

The Palestinian Popular Resistance Conference was the first step towards building a national and international strategy. This construction will be achieved if it retains a local, citizen and progressive mode of organization provided that it resists attempts to recover.

Basil (UCL 93 center)

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