Martin O’Malley Just Met With Hunger Strikers To Prove A Point About Immigrant Detention

Over the last two months, hundreds of immigrant detainees have gone on hunger strikes across the nation to protest their prolonged detention. Not many people have noticed. And despite the fact that many of the detainees are seeking asylum in the United States because they’re afraid of being persecuted if they’re returned, politicians have yet to make changes to the conditions at detention facilities.
Palestinian Hunger Strikers

Bilal Diab: 76 Days 
Thaer Halahleh: 76 Days 
Hassan Safadi: 70 Days 
Omar Abu Shallal: 68 Days 
Mohammedd Al-Taj: 60 Days 
Mahmoud Sarsak: 54 Days 
Faris Al-Natur: 47 Days 
Ja'far Ezz Al-Din: 53 Days 
Abdallah Al-Barghouthi: 32 Days 
More Than 2000 Prisoners: 27 Days
Victory for Palestinian hunger strikers!

After nearly a full month of fasting, around 2,000 Palestinian political prisoners ended last night their mass hunger strike upon reaching an agreement with the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to attain certain core demands. Addameer lauds these achievements of the prisoners’ movement and can only hope that Israel will implement any policy changes in good faith. Addameer especially commends those individuals who engaged in open hunger strike for over two months, displaying remarkable steadfastness in the struggle for their most basic rights.

Cause for celebration comrades!


Bilal Diab | Day 76
Thaer Halahleh | Day 76
Hassan Safadi | Day 70
Omar Abu Shalal | Day 68
Mohammad Taj | Day 60
Jaafar Azzedine | Day 53
Mahmoud Sarsak | Day 54
Abdullah Barghouti | Day 32

Over 2,500 others are also on their 27 day of mass hunger strike. Prisoner Anass Al-Qadoumi has been rushed to hospital.
California prison hunger strikers propose ‘10 core demands’ for the national Occupy Wall Street Movement
  1. We want full employment with a living wage for all people who will work, and for employment to be enforced as the right which it is.
  2. We want an end to institutional racism and race- and class-based disparities in access to, and quality of, labor, education, health care, criminal defense, political empowerment, technology and healthy food.
  3. We want decent and affordable housing for all people and for it to be enforced as the right which it is.
  4. We want affordable and equal access to higher education for all and access to education that teaches the true history of colonialism, chattel slavery, repression of organized labor, the use of police repression and imprisonment as tools of capitalist exploitation, and the perpetuation of imperialism in the development and maintenance of modern U.S. power systems and corporate financial markets.
  5. We want an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of oppressed people in the U.S., particularly in the New Afrikan (Black), Latino, immigrant and underclass communities and among those protesting in this nation.
  6. We want an end to the expansion of the prison industrial complex, as a profit base – from our tax dollars – for the disposal of surplus labor and the poor.
  7. We want an end to all corporate and financial influences in the political process in the U.S.
  8. We want an end to imperialist wars of aggression and sending our youth off to kill and die to enforce the economic interests of big oil and other corporate concerns seeking new resources to exploit, new markets to open for sale of their goods and services and as an impetus to keep from addressing domestic ills.
  9. We want a bottoms-up approach to economic development and labor-capital relations in the U.S.
  10. We want a more equitable distribution of wealth, justice and opportunity at every level of society, reflecting the objective reality that it’s the socio-economic, political, intellectual and cultural contributions of the 99 percent upon which this society stands.
The Palestinian Hunger Strike and the Arab Spring

Apart from today, I guess most people would not have known that 1500 Palestinian Prisoners were on hunger strike. The media silence was deafening in the UK, the BBC seemed to have forgotten the event was taking place! So was the focus on anything but the Hunger Strikers. The only newspaper in the UK to carry a main feature on the Hunger Strikers was The Independent .

Why the silence?

You would think that issue of Hunger Strikers would have a special resonance for the UK press considering their own history with the IRA Hunger Strikers.

The Government too stayed quiet, the only person of note to speak on the issue was Tony Blair, who advised the Israeli government to keep the Hunger Strikers alive.

Here where the Palestinians using non violent means to achieve their ends, they wanted better conditions in Israeli jails. All the factions were united, questions were raised about the role of the Palestinian Government and their failure to support the prisoners in jail and then mutterings started. 

What would happen if one of Hunger Strikers died?

There had been little progress since the declaration of a Palestinian State 

Mumblings about Abbas have been growing 

Could the death of the Hunger Strikers launch a wave of popular emotion against Abbas?

There was virtual silence from the Gulf over the plight of the Prisoners. Instead the Gulfies continued to focus their attention on Syria, while shoring up the regime in Bahrain. 

Then as rumours started to increase about the health of the protesters, in pops in the de Facto agent of the west, Egypt to broker a settlement. 

The same Egypt that had ‘overthrown’ the tyranny of Mubarak…albeit for the divisive rule of the Generals.

Instead of grasping the popular imagination the Palestinian Protest was suppressed. We couldn’t have a popular movement overthrow another western backed regime, could we?

I am glad that the prisoners have had some of their demands met but again the  whole episode shows that since 1947, the Palestinians remain alone in their struggle.  

In January, the European court of human rights held that sending refugees back to Greece amounted to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment because of the appalling conditions of detention in immigration camps.

Greece virtually never gives political asylum to refugees. Other European states, including Britain, will no longer return asylum seekers to Greece.

-Costas Douzinas,