National Lawyers Guild supports Hunger Striking Prisoners


The National Lawyers Guild passed the following resolution unanimously today at its convention in Philadelphia. The convention passed numerous other resolutions, including supporting the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Everywhere movement (to which numerous Guild lawyers provide legal support), labour struggles, Puerto Rican justice campaigns, Mexican labour rights and more. It follow up on its prior resolution in support of Sa’adat and the Palestinian prisoners. The NLG is the U.S.’ oldest public interest bar association, founded in 1937, and has chapters in every state.


NLGWhereas, on September 27, 2011, Palestinian political prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike and campaign of civil disobedience in response to ongoing violations of their rights, and

Whereas, there are over 5,300 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails, including men, women and children, and one out of every four Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza has been subject to political arrest or detention, including 40% of Palestinian men from the West Bank and Gaza, and

Whereas, the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners has continually grown and is now in its third week, with up to 1,500 prisoners engaging in a full open-ended hunger strike and 3,000 prisoners engaging in a partial hunger strike, and

Whereas, prisoners on hunger strike have reported that the Israeli prison administration has denied them salt and confiscated their salt, prohibited them from receiving lawyer and family visits, threatened to suspend family visits indefinitely, and placed over 30 hunger strike leaders into solitary confinement, and

Whereas, Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike have issued a series of demands in order to end their strike, including: ending the use of isolation and solitary confinement against Palestinian prisoners; ending the isolation of Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned Palestinian national leader, and all isolated prisoners; the right to receive family visits, including prisoners from the Gaza Strip who have been denied such visits for years; an end to Israeli abuses that have escalated in recent months, including frequent raids and searches, shackling of prisoners’ hands and feet during visits with lawyers and family; reestablishing Palestinian prisoners’ right to continue their university educations; and receiving adequate medical care and treatment, and

Whereas, simultaneously, hundreds of prisoners in California prisons took place in a hunger strike that ended on October 13, 2011 at Pelican Bay prison and continues in other prisons, making similar demands to end isolation and being met with similar repressive measures, including denial of lawyer and family visits, threats of indefinite denial of visits and increasing use of isolation, and

Whereas, there are also numerous political prisoners in United States jails, veterans of Black, Puerto Rican, Latino, Arab, and other liberation movements, including Puerto Rican political prisoners struggling against colonialism here, and Palestinian political prisoners struggling against Israel’s colonialism, and

Whereas, the Guild’s 2007 resolution “RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE CAMPAIGN TO FREE AHMAD SA’ADAT AND ALL PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS” and its long-term support of prison movements in the US make clear the Guild’s well established position on support for prisoners’ struggles;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the National Lawyers Guild supports the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and demands the immediate implementation of their demands, including an end to isolation and solitary confinement, and

Be it further resolved, that the National Lawyers Guild supports the demands of the California prisoners on hunger strike and demands the implementation of their demands, and

Be it further resolved, that the National Lawyers Guild will make connections in its work between political prisoners in the US and in Palestine, and

Be it further resolved, that the National Lawyers Guild calls for the immediate freedom of all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees, and

Be it finally resolved, that the National Lawyers Guild shall write letters, hold events, and otherwise publicize and advocate for the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees.

Adopted October 15, 2011 by the National Lawyers Guild