Statement of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle Commission 3
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
STRENGTHEN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST IMPERIALISM
AND ALL FORMS OF REACTION
The existence of political prisoners all over the globe means there is resistance. In a world where imperialist powers thrash and trash on people’s rights, people of oppressed nations find solace and strength in the peoples’ struggle for national liberation. They who struggle are met with state reaction through torture, prison bars and cuffs.
Today, struggling people in many countries, specifically member organizations of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners.
The arrest, torture, detention of political activists and revolutionaries are forms of reactionary States’ responses to pacify any form of peoples’ struggle for self-determination, national democracy and freedom.
In their fight for self-determination, thousands of Palestinians are imprisoned and sentenced by Zionist Israeli government without a trial. Over 400 are children prisoners and will probably spend half of their lives in jails.
Through their liberation movement, the Kurdish people have been waging a valiant struggle against three governments - Iran, Turkey and Iraq - which have occupied their lands. While asserting their right to their land, they also persisted in taking back their territories from CIA-backed terrorist group IS/Daech. Many activists and freedom fighters are arrested and imprisoned, such as revolutionary leader Abdullah Ocalan who has been incarcerated in an isolated island prison for fifteen (15) years now. Recently, leaders of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party Sellahatin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were arrested along with nine other members of parliament as part of the crackdown of Turkey’s Erdogan regime.
In the Latin Americas, thousands are also imprisoned for joining the struggle for genuine social change. Unionists, peasant leaders and leaders of indigenous peoples communities struggling against capitalist plunder and US intervention are now political prisoners.
The people of Manipur, asserting independence from India, are also met with repression and many fighters were imprisoned.
Political prisoners in the Philippines are now calling for international support as they launch a fasting and hunger strike protest starting today. The government of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, through its panel for the peace talks, has promised the release of political prisoners since May 2016 as part of its commitment to the formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Only nineteen (19) political prisoners have been temporary released on bail, while there are 400 others in jail. Peasant organizer Bernabe Ocasla, 66, was hopeful of the Duterte government’s promise of release until the day he suffered a stroke, slipped in a coma and died while in detention.
The struggle of these political prisoners is a struggle against US imperialism and the ills it brought to their countries. They contend with the US government’s counter-insurgency program, adopted by many puppet governments, and its inherently fascist approach to dissent. Imperialists believe that by keeping the “insurgents” in prison, their activities are put to a halt and the long years of stay in inhuman prisons will take a toll on political prisoners’ health and disposition.
Yet, while imprisonment limits the physical movement of peoples, it does not defeat the spirit and will of political prisoners and the struggling communities to fight. They continue to do political work inside prisons. They inspire many others to stand and strengthen the movement for their peoples’ freedom and self-determination and against US imperialism.
Today, let us commemorate the political prisoners all over the world and their contributions to the struggles of the oppressed nations. Prison bars are not barriers for their vision of a free and equal society. We call on each citizen to support the political prisoners by visiting them and raising funds for their needs, by campaigning for their immediate release and by being one with them in the struggle for national liberation and genuine democracy.
Release all political prisoners!
Strengthen the struggle against imperialism and all forms of reaction!