The following is a statement from the coordinators of Return Unifies Us: the March 22 Day of Action.
The Palestinian Global Right of Return Coalition has coordinated a call for a day of action and events to uphold the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were expelled in 1947-1948 and 1967, and in support of Palestinians living in Syria.
The day of action will take place this Saturday, 22 March, under the title “Return Unifies Us.” The date has been chosen because it coincides with the anniversary of the 1968 Battle of al-Karama, a rallying point to mobilizing Palestinian popular and revolutionary forces.
The call has already been signed by more than one hundred Palestinian organizations, coalitions, associations and networks representing the various sectors of Palestinians living in the homeland and in exile (shatat). They have called on all Palestinian forces to organize activities voicing the demand to the right of return, and to stand with Palestinians in the refugee camps in Syria. Events and actions will be held in a number of locations in Syria, Lebanon, West Bank, Gaza and elsewhere in and outside historical Palestine.
The past months have seen a wave of civic mobilization among Palestinians in support of those living under blockade and bombardment in Syria. Fundraisers and actions — held in Palestinian communities and camps across the world — have been directed at bringing political pressure to end the crisis of Palestinians in Syria. Given the nature of the crisis, and popular concern regarding the right of return in the “peace process,” the day of action will focus on reaffirming Palestinian national principles — most crucially, the right of return.
For a full list of signatories and the statement in Arabic, click here.
Return Unifies Us: an action day for the right of return and to stand with our people in Syria
22 March, 2014
Our heroic Palestinian people everywhere,
In the coming few days, the 46th anniversary of the battle of Karama will be upon us. During this heroic battle, our people proudly forged the path towards the return to our beloved homeland. This historic moment showed that it is by insistence on the unity and cohesion of our people everywhere, the unity of their struggle, and the oneness of their destiny, that the right of return to their homes of origin and other national principles can be achieved.
This anniversary comes in the shadow of never-ending attacks, since the Nakba and continuing until the present: against our people, our cities, our villages and our camps in the homeland and in exile (shatat). The latest manifestation of this ongoing Nakba is the attack and siege on our steadfast people in the camps in Syria. This attack has not, and never will, shake our people’s belief in the justness of our cause and the inevitability of our victory.
To our steadfast people everywhere,
This year, on the 22nd of March 2014, let us honor the memory of the Battle of Karama and the values of struggle it represents in our people’s consciousness by a day of action to insist upon our right, and the right of every last Palestinian refugee to return to our homeland. Let us emphasize the unity of our people against any and all attacks against our sons and daughters everywhere.
In the same spirit let us take the initiative on March 22nd, and raise our voices to demand our right of return, and to demand the unity of our people as the only way to safeguard and defend our national principles. Let us take action, filling our squares, streets, and our public spaces with mass rallies, popular festivals and scouts performances. From our beloved homeland and across our exiled communities and camps, let us raise our voices together with the slogans of national unity, asserting our unwavering demand for return and a salute to our people’s heroic sacrifices and struggle everywhere.