All over the world, people are resisting the war machine, confronting dictatorships, corporate globalization and exploitation, and fighting back against cultural and physical genocide. The U.S. wars in Irag and Afghanistan are the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. has military forces, bases, and operations in the Phillppines and over 130 countries around the globe. This empire props up abusive local regimes and protects the interests of multinational corporations. As police killings here in Benton Harbor, the imprisonment of over 2 million, and the deadly government response to hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama make clear, struggles are going on inside this country as well.
But as the people rise up, they face repression, torture and imprisonment by those who maintain power over them. As a result,in the U.S. itself and in all the countries trying to free themselves from this system of empire, exploitation, and in some cases as prisoners of war. The oppressors want to keep them locked up to silence their voices.
From the Phillippines to Puerto Rico and Palestine, from Iran to Indonesia and occupied northern Ireland, across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and in the industrial countries of the global north community, organizers, trade unionists, student activists,indigenous and landless peasant spokespeople, and resistance fighters have been the targets of death squads, disappearances, torture, and brutal incarceration.
Here in the U.S. too, a whole new generation of detainees, grand jury resisters, and direct action activists are being locked up. They enter prison alongside the freedom fighters and the resisters of the black Liberation, Chicano-Mexicano, Puerto Rican independence, and American Indian movements who were targeted by the government's COINTELPRO counter-insurgency program of assassination, disruption and imprisonment, and are among the longest-held political prisoners in the world. To abandon these political prisoners would be to sell out and undermine our struggle for peace, justice, liberation, and survival. To fight back against the war machine and the evil empire, we must make the demand to free all political prisoners a central aspect of our
December 3, 2005 has been declared an international day of solidarity with political prisoners by BANCO and the International League of Peoples' Struggle. This has been taken up by organizations in the Philippines, Ireland, Turkey, Palestine, and many others countries, including here in the United States. We want all political prisoners free.