Israel / Occupied Palestine: Letter to supporters of detained poet Dareen Tatour

 

Republished from the website Free Haifa, https://freehaifa.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/make-your-voice-heard-free-dareen-tatour/

 

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

Greetings!

 

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour is still under house detention as her trial is expected to continue for a long period…

 

We need more solidarity and pressure in the near future

 

I write this letter to put you all on the same page.

 

The last court session was held on Sunday, May 8. There was one witness for the prosecution – a policeman – Salman Amer – the one that got the material from Dareen’s computer and smartphone.  Before the hearing we held a successful vigil outside the court. Probably the judge was pressed from the multitude of Dareen’s supporters – so she decided to hold the hearing behind closed doors.

 

You can read about the 8/5 vigil and hearing my reports (Hebrew and English) , a report by Jack Khouri in Haaretz (Hebrew and English)  and a later report in “Local Call” (in Hebrew only) with more details from the courts protocol and about solidarity activities.

 

The court set a new schedule: the next hearing will be held only in 17/7 – and there are 5 more witnesses for the prosecution. Another hearing was scheduled for September 6 – so the defense case will not start until that date and is unlikely to end then. By that schedule Dareen is expected to stay in her detention and exile for more than a year even before the case will be decided…

 

This schedule forces us to concentrate now on an effort to, at least, “improve” the harsh conditions imposed on Dareen. Her lawyer, Abed Fahoum, promised that a special request to the court to bring back Dareen to Reineh – even if under house detention – will be placed with the Nazareth court early next week. When we get a date for the hearing I will publish it on the Free Dareen Tatour Facebook Page. But the best chance to get some relief for Dareen is in case that there will be concrete pressure on the prosecution – mostly by international public opinion and human rights organization.

 

I also wanted to mention that Dareen’s brother and his fiancée, which were appointed by the court to “guard” Dareen at her exile/detention in Tel Aviv, were forced to hire a special apartment for this purpose and had to stop their studies (both were post-graduate students of medical professions) and adjust their work schedule – with huge costs and disruption to their personal lives. Dareen is even more concerned to relieve them than to go back to her home.

 

Publicity and Solidarity

 

Dareen’s case received huge publicity in the Palestinian press – she became a symbol for hundreds of Palestinians that are arrested and persecuted for expressing their views on social media. Her case was prominently mentioned by Muhammad Barake, the head of the “Arab follow up committee”, in front of thousands of protesters in the “March of Return”, the commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba that was held this year in Wadi Al-Zubale, in Bir A-Sabe’ (Naqab) region, on May 12.

 

The general association of Palestinian writers issued a special declaration (in Arabic, May 15) in solidarity with Dareen, calling for her immediate release. The declaration calls for “solidarity action and the mobilization of all possible energies to pressure the occupation machine and force it to release the poet”. Sami Muhana, head of the association of Palestinian Arab writers in the 48 territories, also issued a denunciation in behalf of this association. Herak Haifa held a special poetry reading event on May 5, in solidarity with Dareen Tatour, with the participation of five young Palestinian poets.

 

In the Israeli press we succeeded to get about as far as one can go with a comprehensive article by Gideon Levy and Alex Levac in Haaretz (in Hebrew and English). But till now, in spite of repeated efforts, no Israeli writer, nor any Israeli Human Rights organization, showed any interest in this case. Please correct me if I missed something – I will be more than happy to publish any expression of solidarity from any side.

 

The “ArabLit” site, which writes (in English) about Arab literature, made great work in translating some of Dareen’s poems, including the one she was arrested for – “Resist, My People, Resist Them” – as well as “How Old I Am?” and “I will not leave my country”.

 

Activists of “Jewish Voice for Peace” held special protest in solidarity with Dareen in front of the Israeli consulates in New York and Philadelphia before the court hearing on May 8.

 

Pen International, in a declaration from April 25, condemning the arrest of Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal, related to Dareen’s case, saying: “PEN International is also concerned at reports that Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour is currently on trial for alleged ‘incitement to violence’.  The organization is currently assessing the content of a poem and Facebook posts the poet, who is from Nazareth in Israel, wrote which are the basis of the charge.”

 

Sarah Shulman, and American novelist and academic, sent the following message of solidarity: “I am honored to offer open-hearted solidarity to the Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour and hope others will join me in supporting her quest for freedom to live and write according to her conscience.”

 

It is time that more poets, writers and all freedom loving people will make their voice heard for the freedom of Dareen Tatour, for freedom of the arts and freedom of expression, for the freedom of the Palestinian people and all the people in this small world.

 

#Free_Dareen_Tatour

 

 

 

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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