Activists across Europe are going on hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners and to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the state of Israel.
Students and non-student groups, from England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy will be joining 1,560 Palestinian prisoners who announced their hunger strike two weeks ago.
This follows a group of students from the University of Manchester who announced their hunger strike last week. The five activists, who are now on day five of their hunger strike, are also protesting against the University of Manchester which they say invests millions of pounds in companies that are “complicit with the suffering of the Palestinians”.
In a joint press statement the activists from Europe for justice in Palestine said that they are going on an “international hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners”. The activists describe themselves “as student and non-student groups standing with the Palestinian society from England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy”.
The statement mentioned that students in two cities have already begun their strike with groups in other cities to follow in the coming days: “Students at the University of Edinburgh started their hunger strike on April 30th, activists from Exeter Palestine Action and London began theirs on May 2nd, activists from Turin and Belgium will start theirs on May 4th, followed by activists from Bologna on May 8th, and activists from Rome on May 10th.”
They hope everyone who stands with Palestine, including MPs, will show their support.
Through our actions, we hope to raise awareness of the Palestinian cause in our respective towns and cities across Europe.
While stating their reasons for coordinating the “international hunger strike” they emphasised that they were “seeking to pressure Israel into complying with the Palestinian political prisoners’ demands in line with international law and to promote boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel until it complies with international law and the universal principles of human rights.”
The activists believe that boycott, divestment and sanctions, is the only effective non-violent way of ending the plight of the Palestinians that the international community can use, before concluding:
As European citizens, we feel a responsibility to support the Palestinian cause for an end of the occupation, apartheid and settler colonialism. It is not only our right, but also our responsibility to end this injustice.