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Nigeria-Palestina: solidarity against evictions

On Sunday April 26, 2009 we, members of the global justice movement, claimed the streets of the Nigerian Embassy in Tel Aviv demanding an end to the policies of demolition, land theft and eviction carried out against Palestinians whilst standing in solidarity with the people of Port Harcourt in Nigeria and the National Union of Tenants of Nigeria who are suffering similar attacks.

Although there is no foreign occupation in Port Harcourt, and there are other important, even fundamental, differences to the actions carried out against the Palestinian people, but mass displacement and demolitions have been induced by discriminating and forceful means, leaving the socio-economic weak inhabitants with no indemnifications whatsoever.

The Nigerian government has since June 2008 carried out forced evictions of over million people in Port Harcourt in Rivers State for the “Silverbird” project. The city has become a further victim of the wide-spread and unjust urban globalization efforts, for the purpose of “beautification” and mass-scale private investment plans, without taking any consideration of the existing inhabitants.

The demonstration signified the dire necessity to respond united against mass evictions and demolitions that are global realities, using and abusing those who do not have the power to resist.

Identifying these crimes as an issue of global urgency, we need to recognize that actions taken by the Nigerian government are in fact familiar and in one way mimic the actions of the Israeli government which continues to displace the Palestinian people, both inside the ’49 Armistice Lines and inside the Occupied Palestine. The government and military’s actions against the Palestinian people are violations of numerous international covenants and of basic morality and we demand they recognize the Palestinian roots in the land and end the policies of displacement and dispossession.

The call for solidarity has therefore been cast and as members of global justice movements we pledge for a united resistance as the only option to make an end to the gross injustices carried out in Port Harcourt, the occupied Palestinian territories or any other people who are forced to suffer all types of oppression, theft of land or housing.

And while standing in solidarity, we must demand an end to the dispossession of the Palestinian people, both by ending the occupation and ending their physical displacement within the borders. This should build upon the recent efforts of Palestinians in Silwan, Ar-Ram and of the demonstrations organized by ICAHD, Combatants for Peace and others to end the policies of demolition and eviction.

(This action took place in coordination with the International Alliance of Inhabitants’ launch of its Zero Palestinian Evictions, Now! campaign.)