Following up on a call by a Hebron-based blogger for Tuesday, February 21st to be a general strike throughout Palestine, students from Nablus’ An-Najah University have compiled the video above to assert that the strike will take place.
Translated below is most of the post:
In light of this frenzied competition [between the illegitimate Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip] the prisoner Khader Adnan has entered his 63rd day of hunger strike, and is at risk of dying as a martyr due to the severe deterioration of his health and the official Palestinian governments’ neglect of his case…
How long will silence be the master of this situation? Our silence is enough! Are we not able to announce a general strike for one day in solidarity with Khader Adnan and all the freedom fighters in Israeli jails?
I believe we are able to cause the Palestinian street to act and to make Tuesday 21st 2012 a day of general strike. All we have to do is pass on the message to biggest number of people and influential media stations outside the scope of social media. It is time to scream outside the walls of Facebook and Twitter, to pass on this message…it is the least we can do.
In addition to solidarity with Khader Adnan, the goal of the strike is to pressure both Fateh and Hamas, as well as the media, to intervene and save his life and the lives of thousands of other prisoners.
Ola Tamimi (no relation to the Tamimis in the village of Nabi Saleh) was fed up with the sporadic protests and lack of concrete actions that excluded the majority of ordinary Palestinians.
"I decided to call for a general strike because we need to do something effective, away from social media," she told me. "Khader Adnan has been on hunger strike for 65 days now. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves for not undertaking more prominent actions.
Since [the youth movement] March 15th, it became clear that there is a gap between the efforts of activists on social media and the Palestinian street, which is concerned primarily with their own daily lives.
The idea behind the blog post was to break out of the Facebook and Twitter confines…for actions to translate successfully on the ground. We have to work towards making our statements, our online activities accessible to the street.
On Saturday, after I came up with the idea, I printed out flyers and gave them to the neighborhood kids to pass out. It’s a good tactic; they came back after an hour empty-handed.
I’d consider it a big achievement if the general strike takes place, even if it’s just for two hours [12-2pm]. I only care about if people are convinced with the idea behind the strike. If the store owner is convinced then what’s the point of having an official government statement? During the intifadas, people used to act as a collective whole without waiting for the government’s decision or an announcement.
The most important thing is to break the fear barrier that people have that prevents them from protesting in the streets. For example, people in Hebron are scared to protest because of the previous experiences they’ve had with the Palestinian Authority. It’s the same everywhere. People have reached a state of depression, but it’s imperative that we keep on trying."
As Khader Adnan enters his 66th day of hunger strike, protests are expected to take place at the central squares in the cities and towns in the West Bank (and hopefully Gaza), the same day that Israeli High Court hearing for his case will be held in Jerusalem, at 3pm.