The Chicago movement for Palestinian rights held an event last night to stand with the imprisoned men.
Palestinian Prisoners Day raises awareness of more than 4,600 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. Those at the event were looking for solidarity and commemoration.
Many are held under controversial “administrative detention”
“Anyone in Palestine can be arrested and placed in administrative detention,” said Debbie Southorn of the Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights, “It means you are being held without charge and also without any sort of trial.”
This day has been commemorated since 1974, but this year’s event has more significance. Khader Adnan, a former imprisoned Palestinian Sheikh, declare the 17th day of international action. He staged a 66 day hunger strike and was just released yesterday.
1,200 other Palestinian prisoners began hunger strikes in solidarity with Adnan. People at yesterday’s event fasted to show their support.
“For me it's the experience in even a small way of what they're feeling. It's very important to feel that same solidarity for them,” said activist Bill Chambers.
Those at the event broke their fast together and watched a video on Israeli prisons. They also Skyped with an activist in the Middle East
Event goers said they were released with the number of people who were showing support for the cause.
“We're only 40 people in a room but we are part of something much bigger and it's like a ball that starts to roll in the right direction,” volunteer for Jewish Voice for Peace, Lynn Pollack.
Although members of the Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights are across the globe, they feel like their actions are having a difference.
“Something where everyone's messages will be seen and will be shared, so what we're going to do with it is we are going to fold it up and mail it to Adomeer, the Palstinian Prisoner's Rights Asssociation,” said Southorn.