Protesters raised awareness of Ahed Tamimi and other child prisoners, in Glasgow’s city centre. The student-led demonstration was a cooperation between Strathclyde Students for Palestine Society, alongside the Glasgow University Palestine Society.
Ayisha Qazikhel, co-president of Strathclyde’s Palestine society, said that the purpose of the protest was “to not only stand with Ahed Tamimi but also every other Palestinian child in occupation jails. This protest was organised by students, so that we can get more young people involved in resisting this apartheid.”
Ahed Tamimi, who just turned 17, challenged an armed officer during a raid of her town, Nabi Saleh, in the occupied west bank. She is currently awaiting trial in prison, where she has been for 2 months, facing charges including assault and instances of stone throwing which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years.
There is an almost 100% conviction rate of Palestinians in Israeli military courts. Israel is the only country in the world to prosecute children in military court. A UNICEF report found that Palestinian children in this system face “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” According to the NGO Defense for Children Palestine between 500-700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system annually.
One of the event’s speakers, Dr Muhammad Adrees, from the Scottish Muslim council drew attention to the injustice of calling Ahed Tamimi’s action terrorism, when the actual violations were the measures taken and funded by the Israeli state.
“Israel is sponsoring the terrorism to terrorise the Palestinian people who have not been enjoyed a day of freedom for last, more then 70 years. They deserve the same rights as you and I deserve”, Addrees passionately stated.
Activists’ insight were alternated with the demonstrators’ chants: “Justice is our demand, no peace on stolen land! Resistance is justified when people are occupied!” and “Occupation is a crime! Free, Free Palestine.”
Joshua Brown, Palistinan rights activist and secondary school teacher said: “Ahed Tamimi is a teenaged Nelson Mandela and we need to recognise that the struggle for Nelson Mandela’s freedom was won through international solidarity, through economic pressure and through the continuous fearlessness of the people inside the occupied country.”
Ending his speech he left his audience with one question: “How do we make sure that international solidarity (with Palestine) is heard and felt by the zionist occupation in Palestine?”
Sofia Mcleod from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Pauline McNeill MSP were amongst the speakers, highlighting the importance of the issues remaining in the public eye and reminding that peaceful protesting is vital to international solidarity activism.
The event finished with an encouragement to all students to get involved with the student societies to engage in future initiatives dedicated to the Palestinian cause child prisoners’ liberation.
Scotland has a reputation of showing solidarity for the Palestinian struggle, and is likely to remain one of the driving political forces in the global community in the future.
By Simran Kaur / Photo credit: Titi Farukuoye