So, I’m certainly not an authority on this, but I’ve heard from many sources, including people I know over there, and many Palestinian prisoners are on open-ended hunger strike at present to protest the use of solitary confinement, administrative detention, and poor visitation conditions.
Hunger strikes were used very effectively by the Irish republican movement in the early 80s to politicize the armed struggle and mobilize mass support for political republicanism. The situation in Palestine is obviously very different – but perhaps the hope is the use of hunger strikes can mobilize mass international support for the Palestinian prisoners – to make the eyes of the world focus inside the Israeli jails and see how inhumane the Zionist occupier is in its treatment of the dissident and resistant indigenous people of the land.
I’ve been on the phone with Amnesty this morning, and they are planning no actions, urgent or otherwise, to support the hunger strikers at this point. I sometimes get the feeling that when it comes to activism, Amnesty has been entirely co-opted by the liberal-communist (zizek’s term) obsession with suffering, and is unable to tell a political possibility from “once more, something bad is happening”.
I’ve tried to contact various Palestinian solidarity groups in Toronto, no luck so far. It is really unfortunate how un-coordinated North American palestinian activism is in relation to anything but the most western-friendly forms of resistance in Palestine (basically, Bel’in and the like). I don’t understand why, with the internet and twitter and phones, the campaigns can still be so un-coordinated. It might have something to do with North American activists’ obsession of being endlessly critical of the PA and also of any armed resistance.
It looks like it’s up to me to organize something. More news to follow.