Tomorrow, Palestinians observe Yom al-Ard, Land Day. It’s a day dedicated to Palestinian land defenders, and this year it marks the first anniversary of the Great March of Return. We can show solidarity with Palestinian land defenders in their struggle for justice by taking action to end UK complicity in land grabs and violence against Palestinians.
On 30 March 1976, Palestinian citizens of Israel declared a general strike and held protests against sweeping land grabs by the state. The Israeli army and police cracked down violently, killing six unarmed protesters, wounding dozens more and arresting hundreds. Since then, Palestinians around the world have used the day to commemorate those fallen and to recommit to their struggle for justice.
Will you take action to show your solidarity with Palestinian land defenders?
Today, 43 years later, Palestinians have still not given up their demands. Last year on Land Day, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip gave new hope and power to the Palestinian freedom struggle with the Great Return March, demanding an end to the illegal blockade, and the implementation of their right of return to their original lands and homes from which they were forcibly displaced.
In an echo of 1976, Israeli forces again cracked down on the Great Return March, opening fire on unarmed protesters week on week. Over 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the weekly protests, including 52 children, and a number of medics and journalists.
As Palestinians head out to protest today, it’s important for us to press our government to end its complicity in the violence against them. We can also do our bit by spreading the word about the reasons why Palestinians are protesting in the first place: for their rights, for freedom, and for justice.