On October 29 a clear message was sent into the heart of the European Union; Palestinians in the diaspora all over the globe are uniting for the liberation of Palestine and to actualize their right of return. The message was built on clear principles that were embraced by and also embraced their internationalist allies. If this message were an arrow, its head would be a proud support of the Palestinian resistance, especially the armed resistance that is enacting its inalienable right, against all odds, in the face of the zionist occupation and its colonial backing. Support for the political prisoners and those who stand firmly against normalization with the occupation regime. Support of the thawabet. The arrow’s body would then be the masses. The broad popular participation of Palestinian, Arab and international student, labor, feminist, and leftist groups that pushed this message forward. The numerous individuals from the popular classes, the refugees, and the people who traveled far and wide to participate. Lastly, the propelling force, the intention, the aim with which this arrow was delivered, would be the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path, Masaar al Badil.
The direct action that mobilized thousands of Palestinians and their comrades to demonstrate before the European Parliament was the culmination of a week of revolutionary organizing in the European capital. The events were facilitated by local anti fascist collectives aligned with the Masaar’s internationalist mission and were hosted at various cooperatives, leftist bookstores, and community centers within the working class neighborhoods of Brussels. Monday the 24th saw a presentation by by Luk Vervaet, author of the anthology Sumud: Words of resistance from Palestinian prisoners as well as a presentation by on the zionist enitity’s refusal to release the bodies of Palestinian prisoners. Tuesday included an evening discussing the life of Algerian freedom fighter Mohamed Boudia who fought for liberation against the French colonial regime, joined the Palestinian revolution in 1965 and was later assassinated in 1975 by the Israeli Mossad in Paris. Wednesday included a report back from the La Grue collective who answered the invitation of Palestinians in the homeland to come and witness the conditions of the occupation and their steadfastness against it. Also, the opening of a exhibition of the work of Jihad Mansour (formerly Marc Roudin) that included many of the posters he designed for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hosted by Revolutionare Jugend Zurich. At this exhibition young attendees connected with the artwork as well as individuals who themselves were part of the PFLP, holding revolutionary space and discussing the ongoing movement for liberation.
On Thursday members of various global chapters of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Network, local Palestinian refugee collectives, Collectif Palestine Vaincra, youth leadership from Students for Justice in Palestine, and Al Falasteniyeh Media Network (AFMN) occupied a chamber of the European union for a peoples’ conference. The intention of this meeting was not to ask of the European Union anything but, instead, to loudly declare within the the halls of the colonial stronghold that Palestinian refugees will return, that the Palestinian people support the armed resistance, and that no solution other than one free Palestine from the river to the sea will be accepted. AFMN led a discussion on the role of the forthcoming independent Palestinian network and asked participants how we can best serve their liberation work around the world. In the evening another peoples’ forum was held by Samidoun on the topic of international solidarity and was with large attendance.
On Friday evening a panel discussion was held opening with an address by a former member of the German Red Army Faction who actively participated in the collaboration with Palestinian resistance factions in the 1970s discussing how the liberation of Palestine emerged as the frontline struggle against imperialism after the US Vietnam invasion. This was followed by contribution from Kurdish resistance comrades and an Iranian comrade who joined the Palestinian liberation movements of the 1970s. The resounding message of these experienced freedom fighters was that the evening was not a history lesson but a call to analyze the situations of the past to understand and apply the knowledge that imperialism has its weakness that must be exploited for resistance.
Between events and throughout the week, Palestinian and Arab youth connected with the Arab and Muslim community of the Saint-Gilles and engaged in conversion about the weeks events as well as the intersecting, ongoing struggles against Israeli, US and European colonialism. Workshops on youth organizing, women’s movements, refugee organizing and international resistance solidarity were conducted. Conversations during these workshops flowed into and beyond the events. In many ways this was not a week of discrete occurrences but a continuous working group comparing and uniting tactics and experiences for liberation work.
On the day of the March for Liberation and Return thousands descended on Brussel’s major commercial area, shaking the calm of the bourgeoisie routine with a vision of Palestinian liberation and its internationalist support. The attendees came from all over Europe and the world with messages of support for the full spectrum of Palestinian resistance factions and an unequivocal goal of full liberation and return. The masses moved through the streets of the capitalist core and into the European parliament’s square where speeches, resistance chants, and broad solidarity unfolded. At the same time, 3,271 km away in Gaza, Palestinians from all political, labor and resistance factions demonstrated in unison with those in Brussels; in Beirut a conference was held; in Vancouver BC people took to the streets.
Something is happening in the Palestinian diaspora. For decades the Palestinian people outside of the homeland, and their allies, have echoed developments from Palestine in reaction to events. Now it seems as if it is less of an echo as it is resistance by any means necessary in unison. The Palestinian resistance has always continued its principled and relentless defense of the Palestinian land and people at home. As more and more of the diaspora are making their support, organizing, and action as continuous and principled, a new path is being forged.