Cross-resistance: Filipino prisoners stand in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-strikers

Cross-resistance: Filipino prisoners stand in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-strikers
2 min read
19 May, 2017
Filipino political prisoners extended their solidarity to Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli prisons on Wednesday, describing their similar aspirations for freedom.
Protest in solidarity of hunger strikers [Getty]

Political prisoners in the Philippines have extended their solidarity to Palestinian hunger strikers in a new joint statement issued on Wednesday.

“On behalf of all political prisoners in the Philippines, we salute and pay tribute to the more than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners,” the statement read.

“We are one with you in your aspirations for freedom and dignity, aspirations long denied to the people of Palestine.”

The group compared the injustice Filipino political prisoners face at the hands of the government to the injustice Palestinians face at the hands of Israelis.

“Your struggle is very similar to ours. Like you, we are victims of the worst conditions in jails and the slow pace of justice in the Philippines. We are also victims of injustice – we were illegally arrested because of our political beliefs, we are charged with trumped up cases, jailed or wrongly convicted to keep us behind bars for many years.”

The statement also extended solidarity in a shared struggle against US imperialism, branding Israel’s brutality as a by-product of America extending its sphere of influence.

“Zionist Israel, which is the primary instrument of US imperialism against the Palestinian peoples, has victimised thousands and millions of your peoples.”

“Your continuing struggle is an inspiration to all oppressed and struggling peoples of the world, including the Filipino people who are fighting for national liberation and genuine democracy.”

More than 1,600 prisoners took part in the hunger strike that began on 17 April, ingesting only water and salt.

By the beginning of May, the number of strikers decreased to just below 1,000 people, but Palestinian sources are now saying the number of people joining the hunger strikes have risen by at least 300 since then.

Read also: Palestinian hunger strikers - The frontline of an imprisoned nation

While Palestinian prisoners have mounted repeated hunger strikes, the most recent is reportedly the largest in recent times. 

Israeli prison authorities are taking disciplinary measures to pressure the Palestinian prisoners to end their strikes.

Israeli settlers have also used the hunger strikes as an opportunity to taunt Palestinians. Days after the hunger strike was announced, dozens of Israeli settlers organised a barbeque outside a jail near Ramallah.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are currently detained by Israel for a range of offences and alleged crimes. Around 500 are held under administrative detention, which allows imprisonment without charge.