The socialist republican party éirígí has announced it will establish a camp at the former Andersonstown barracks site in Belfast and engage in a 48-hour fast in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.
Prisoners began a hunger strike on Tuesday 27 September. They are calling for an end to the policy of isolation for all prisoners, for an end to the three-year-long solitary confinement of Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and for an end to the systematic humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints and crossings as they visit the prisons.
Over 500 Palestinians are currently on hunger strike in jails scattered throughout the Israeli state.
éirígí representative and former Belfast chair of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign John McCusker said, “Republicans recently marked the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1981 hunger strike, and now we find it necessary to draw attention to what is currently happening in Palestine.
“Palestinian prisoners have for years experienced degrading treatment and humiliating conditions at the hands of the Israeli Prison Administration. Their friends and families on the outside have to also endure shameful treatment just to get to visit their loved ones, and sometimes even this can’t happen as detainees are routinely moved from one prison to another with little notice.”
McCusker continued, “While we engage in our fast in support of our comrades in Palestine, we will also engage in a leafleting campaign to raise awareness of the situation, and our camp will be open to anyone who wants to come and find out more about the hunger strike.
The solidarity fast by members of éirígí will commence at 1pm on Friday [21 October] and will conclude at 1pm on Sunday with a rally at the barracks site. The rally will be addressed by former protesting Irish republican prisoners, as well as veterans of the Turkish hunger strike solidarity campaign and Palestine solidarity activists. There will also be candlelit vigils at the site on Friday and Saturday evening at 7pm.