On International Worker’s Day, also referred to as May Day, Palestinian trade unions intensified their calls for movements, unions and individuals around the world to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement pressuring Israel to end its systematic violation of Palestinians' rights.
In a joint statement put out by General Union of Palestinian Workers, Palestinian New Union, Federation of Independent Trade Union and the Postal, IT and Telecommunications Workers Union, the unions called for the boycott of Israeli and international companies, the divestment of trade union funds from companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s occupation and increased pressure on governments to cut both military and trade relations with Israel.
“On May Day, we Palestinian trade unions are proud to stand with the trade union movement internationally as we collectively resist attacks on our working conditions, cuts to public services and job losses,” they wrote.
“We will continue to refuse Israel’s vision of a truncated network of Palestinian Bantustans and associated industrial zones, under which we relinquish our rights and become a pool of cheap labor for the Israeli state,” they added.
On the occasion marking worker’s struggles throughout the world, Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned general-secretary of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine sent a message from his prison cell, marking the PFLP’s solidarity with both hunger-striking prisoners as well as workers marching throughout the world.
“Greetings to you from inside the prisons and cells of Zionism,” began Sa’adat in his letter. “Our message today is to all the revolutionary forces in Latin America and Africa, in the Philippines, Turkey and Greece, in the belts of misery and the struggling cities everywhere: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine stands with you on May 1, renewing its commitment to the relentless and unconditional defense of the rights of the exploited, confronting the domination of colonialism, the forces of exploitation and the tools of class and social oppression.”
Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners are entering their 15th day of the strike, with Israeli authorities still unwilling to heed to any of their demands.
While rallies in their support have taken place nearly every day in Palestine since the strike began on April 17, Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, Saturday also saw the town of Nazareth hold a mass rally in commemoration of May Day.
Each year on May 1, thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank, the Gaza strip and within the borders of apartheid Israel take to the streets to rally for their rights.