[Pnews] Herman Bell: Message to the Palestinian people - Greetings and solidarity!

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 18 13:42:25 EDT 2016


This is a new blog by longtime Political Prisoner, Herman Bell published 
in a pamphlet of US political prisoner writings for a recent delegation 
to Palestine.


Solidarity was forged as former political prisoners in Palestine and 
former US-held political prisoners in our delegation discussed parallel 
experiences. Palestinian audiences at both conferences were moved by the 
messages we brought with us in a collection of letters from currently 
incarcerated US political prisoners some of whom have already served 40 
years and more €”to their Palestinian sisters and brothers. Our 
colleagues at Birzeit University'€™s Institute for Women'€™s Studies 
translated the letters into Arabic. The solidarity was palpable during 
the final plenary of Birzeit's conference, when the phone rang and we 
heard the voice of US political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal 
<http://www.bringmumiahome.com>. Mumia was calling from Pennsylvania to 
express solidarity with and love for the people of Palestine.

*The entire pamphlet can be read here: * 

*To the Palestinian people - Greetings and solidarity!*

*You don't fight alone!*

I have followed, supported, and I continue to follow and support your 
heroic struggle to rid Israeli occupation of your homeland. Almost daily 
we hear of israeli tank shells and missiles firing into your homes, your 
hospitals, and school buildings; we see pictures of broken bodies being 
dug from the rubble. Whole neighborhoods and vital resources: food, 
water, electricity are decimated. So much death, bloodshed, and 
destruction when seizing and occupying other people's land, an old 
narrative that Indigenous people the world over know so well.

The international community does nothing throughout this occupation of 
your land; it sits on its hands, laments the destruction and loss of 
life and does nothing. I feel the beat of your seething heart. And 
during periodic lulls throughout this decades-long occupation, when even 
the occupiers seem sated from their bloodlust, you rise up from your 
magnificently dug tunnels firing off salvos of your own bootleg missiles 
into the towns and hamlets of the occupiers. Your creative resistance to 
this occupation is so reminiscent of the Vietnamese people's spirited 
resistance to u.s. occupation during their war of national liberation. 
When having shot-down a heavy u.s. B-52 bomber, they built iron bars 
around it with a sign saying: "We caged this beast!"

Freedom loving people the world over support your struggle, support your 
courage and fortitude in resisting this occupation. For we know that 
while heads of governments in the international community posture, 
gesture, and pronounce empathetic words, they speak but one language, 
the language of the occupier, which is why they will neither condemn nor 
prevent this ongoing carnage and continued israeli occupation of your 
land. For that, the Palestinian people have to look to themselves.

But you don't fight alone.

Afrikan-American people here in North America support you and know 
occupation well. Here the local and national police force are our 
occupiers. Throughout some three-hundred years of tyrannizing the soul 
and body of the Black community, america's pervasive racism and cultural 
domination has overworked itself, yet our spirit remains unbowed. And 
we've been enslaved longer than we've been free. We suffer 
mass-incarceration, racial profiling and unrelenting, police violence. 
We endure; we bide our time. For we know nothing lasts forever. Thus we 
affirm that no daylight exist between the Afrikan-American and 
Palestinian struggle in resisting the racist, oppressive violence that 
occupies, that kills, that imprisons us here and you over there. Our 
struggle is one.

Accordingly, as we go forward, as you speak comparatively of israeli 
social policies that resemble the racist South African apartheid 
regime's social policies, I would urge that you speak also of the 
similarity between the Afrikan-America and Palestinian struggle. The 
comparison is effective; it resonates. Both our hardship and casualties 
originate from the same source; our communities are stressed; our men 
and women have been captured, tortured, imprisoned, or killed. Our 
families suffer; our children experience uncertain tomorrows. You 
don’t fight alone; our struggle is one, and we build to win.

Solidarity forever,
Herman Bell

*The Delegation statement can be read here. 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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