Despite heavy rain and the boycott by the big mass media as well as by a big part of the pacifist left, 100,000 people demonstrated yesterday, March 9, in Rome, in solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada. This was, in fact, the biggest demonstration in support of the Palestinian cause ever in Italy. Moreover, there is no doubt that this was also the biggest mass manifestation in support of Intifada that has ever taken place in a western country.
The idea to hold this demonstration was launched in October last year by the Forum for Palestine. Thanks to the efforts of a united basis committee (part of which was the Italian section of the Anti-imperialist Camp) this idea could become reality. The call for this demonstration included five points:
- Withdrawal of the Israeli army from the occupied territories; - Dismantlement of all Zionist colonial settlements; - Right to return for the Palestinian refugees; - Foundation of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital; - International observation against Israeli violence.
Finally, the call included the request to the Palestinian National Authority to release A. Saadat, secretary of PFLP, as well as all other militants of Intifada who have been arrested due to Israeli, US and European pressure.
Today, March 10, many newspapers have tried to distort this marvellous demonstration describing it as one of the usual pacifist marches, which call for equal distance from both the Zionist butchers and Palestinian victims, which condemn any form of violence “from any side”. This is a lie. Yesterday’s demonstration had a clear anti-imperialist character. It called for the legitimate right of Palestinians to use whatever means they consider appropriate in order to free Palestine. It confirmed that whoever struggles for liberation from occupation and oppression can not be considered a terrorist. To the contrary, the US and NATO are terrorists since they carry out a strategy of permanent war in order to maintain their imperial supremacy by heinous means like bombing of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan as well as imposing criminal embargos on Iraq and Cuba.
The extraordinary success of yesterday’s demonstration represents a big step forward for the whole international anti-imperialist movement. It gives us momentum to continue our common struggle, to intensify the campaigns in solidarity with Intifada as well as with all peoples who demand an end to the wars of oppression and capitalist globalisation.
In this context, we will contribute our part. At the end of March, an international solidarity delegation will travel to Iraq. At the end of this year, in case Israel will not have withdrawn its occupation forces, we will again organise a solidarity mission in support of the Palestinian people.
From August 3 to August 10, the Anti-imperialist Camp 2002 will take place in Assisi, Italy, which has become one of the biggest international meetings of anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist forces. In the framework of this meeting we call upon all forces who support the Palestinian Intifada to gather in Assisi for a coordination meeting.
The Anti-imperialist Camp March 10, 2002 Antiimperialist Camp PF 23, A-1040 Vienna, Austria Tel&Fax +43 1 504 00 10 firstname.lastname@example.org www.antiimperialista.com/en