Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in New York City joined labor, social justice and migrant rights movements on 1 May to participate in the annual commemoration of May Day, International Workers’ Day, at Union Square. Samidoun joined the Palestine contingent organized by New York City Students for Justice in Palestine, marching for justice for Palestine and for workers in the US and internationally.
Samidoun members also participated in the Odessa Commemoration prior to the May Day rally, commemorating the deaths of the victims of the right-wing attack on the Trade Unions House in Odessa, Ukraine on 2 May 2014.
During the Immigrant Worker Justice Tour following the rally, among a number of sites where participants stopped and chanted included Bank of America, a client of G4S, the massive security corporation that provides security systems, equipment and control rooms to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers; as well as Aroma Espresso Bar, the largest Israeli coffee shop chain and the subject of an international boycott campaign. Bank of America also invests in Corrections Corp of America and GEO Group, America’s largest for profit prison corporations.
Other stops on the Justice Tour included Wendy’s, which is the subject of a boycott campaign supporting the Coalition of Immokalee Workers Fair Food program fighting abuse of workers in US agriculture; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and City Winery, whose baguettes are supplied by Amy’s Bread Factory, where many workers struggle to survive on meager wages and work two or three jobs.
Palestinian and solidarity activists participated in May Day events around the world, including in Berlin, Hamburg and Paris, where slogans calling for freedom for Palestinian prisoners and the freedom of imprisoned Lebanese Communist struggler for Palestine, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, were raised.
In Palestine, Palestinian labor organizations marched in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine against siege and for the rights of workers, and workers’ role in the Palestinian liberation movement.
Photos by Joe Catron, Michael Letwin, Afif el-Ali, Somaya Badawi