On 25 November 2023, Barcelona hosted an International Meeting of Organizations and Activists in Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The meeting aimed to reflect on the challenges of the current situation in Palestine and establish a network for promoting cooperation and coordination with other organisations in Catalonia, the Spanish State and internationally. It was also agreed to set up a committee to organise an international meeting in solidarity with the Palestinian people in Barcelona, as the city is able to provide a safe environment for such a meeting.
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RESOLUTION OF THE MEETING
Meeting in Barcelona on 25 November 2023
An end to the genocide in Gaza. Immediate withdrawal of all Israeli military personnel from the Gaza Strip and immediate restoration of the supply of food, electricity, water and fuel. Immediate safe and secure entry of independent medical and humanitarian personnel and journalists into the Gaza Strip. A complete end to the siege imposed on Gaza for over 16 years.
An end to the continued army and settler violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and an end to all forms of dispossession and repression of Palestinians in all of historic Palestine. The release of all Palestinian prisoners and detainees.
The complicity of governments, especially those of the USA and Europe, in providing Israel with financial, military and moral support, and allowing it to commit its crimes with complete impunity.
These repression by these governments of solidarity movements and pro-Palestinian voices and demand an end to all restrictions on democratic freedoms and government interference in the right of public bodies to divest from Israel and Israeli organisations and institutions.
We demand that our respective governments sever all political, military, economic, educational and cultural relations with Israel, and introduce sanctions against the apartheid regime.
For the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their lands and homes in Palestine. For a free Palestine from the river to the sea.
And we agree the following plan of work:
To constitute a committee to organise an international meeting of solidarity with the Palestinian people in Barcelona at the end of February with the leading solidarity organisations and activists in Europe and the Arab world.
To set up a network to continue our cooperation and coordination with other local and international organisations.
To respond to the call for solidarity from Palestinian organisations and trade unions.
To promote the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
To promote and develop solidarity between sectors such as dockworkers, health, education, firefighters, etc.
Solidarity activists from Catalonia, England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium participated in this workshop beginning with an exchange of experiences. They discussed the challenges facing the solidarity movement: countering repression in Europe, “war fatigue” and the normalization of massacres, and keeping up the momentum.
Participants agreed on the need for a worldwide coordination that goes beyond watchwords such as “ceasefire” or “stop the genocide” and talks about the end of the siege of Gaza and the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea. They also spoke of the need to focus actions on specific objectives.
Three common axes of intervention are being addressed at the European level: stopping the genocide, severing all the special relations Israel has with European Union institutions and governments, and combatting the identification of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
The importance of international coordination within different sectors was also stressed. The LGTBIQ+ movement’s upcoming meeting in France to coordinate actions was mentioned as an example and it was suggested that the same thing could be done in the trade union or student sphere.
The idea was put forward of doing joint actions in the run-up to Christmas in order to prevent solidarity from grinding to a complete halt over the holiday period, bearing in mind that the Palestinian Christian churches and Ramallah and Bethlehem city councils have said there will be no celebrations there this year in view of the genocide in Gaza. Ideas included “Decolonize Christmas” and “No Christmas tree until Palestine is free”.
Everyone agreed to participate in a meeting of Palestine solidarity organisations and activists from Europe and the Mediterranean to be held in Barcelona and organized in good time (around the end of February), and to set up an organizing committee to make this possible. The aim of this meeting is not to establish new international organizations or replace existing ones, but to find a framework for strategic debate in the medium and long term in the face of the new situation.
RESOLUTION OF THE TERRITORIAL WORKING GROUP
People from 17 groups and localities in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands took part in the workshop.
It was agreed to set up a territorial coordinating network for the Palestine solidarity movement linked to the Coalició Prou Complicitat amb Israel (No More Complicity with Israel Coalition) to facilitate coordinating strategies and actions.
A communication system was put in place, the frequency of meetings agreed and a calendar planned for a first boycott action to be carried out in as many localities as possible before the Christmas holidays. During the next few weeks, all local groups are invited to join the coordinating committee.
An online link to campaign information and resources for all local groups.
TRADE UNION WORKING GROUP RESOLUTION
The international call by the Palestinian trade unions was sent by the Catalan union platform (CGT, IAC, CoBas, COS, CNT and SO) to its branches and works committees and also to those of CCOO and UGT. Catalan unions were asked to respond to the call and ask companies where they are present for a list of suppliers to demand the termination of supplies from Israeli companies.
Unions in education would, for example, ask the Department of Education for a list of companies with which they have agreements. This could be done in each University with its agreements and academic exchanges.
This proposal is addressed to all sectors, both public and private, with the aim of generalizing the boycott to all materials for business use.
Demand the EU cease to regard Israel as a special partner, getting unions to put pressure on Barcelona city council (and other local institutions) to achieve this.
If there is another call for general strike, give it a more active perspective including concrete BDS goals, such as the boycott or blockade of a company that provides a considerable amount of funding to Israel, turning the strike into a means and not an end in itself; as was done, for example, at the mining company in Súria and Cardona.
This sort of action can be repeated in a decentralized fashion using the general strike as a trigger.
Demand for talks and workshops in educational establishments, libraries, etc. (and other sectors that request it) to give the work stoppages, strikes and actions a more active approach, broadening and strengthening awareness of the importance of the boycott.