Comrade Leila Khaled completed a successful political visit to Greece, in which she delivered the keynote speech at the Resistance Festival, met with Greek political forces and parties and political movements. She also joined in a number of lectures, seminars and interviews with Greek media.
As the featured speaker of the annual Resistance Festival in Athens, Khaled opened the event before hundreds of Greeks with a stirring speech, expressing collective resistance and a history of mutual solidarity with the Greek people. The Festival, featuring political events, music and cultural activities, is organized annually by the Greek leftist newspaper Dromos. She spoke alongside Figen Yuksekdag of the HDP of Turkey, Deborah Santana of the Puerto Rican liberation movement, and Marina Brescia of the Resistance Festival organizing committee.
She highlighted in particular the struggle of political prisoners, focusing on the hunger strike of Comrade Bilal Kayed and carrying greetings from PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat to the festival. She described Kayed’s imprisonment for 14 and one-half years, followed by an order of administrative detention against him, urging global mobilization for political prisoners and saluting the struggles of her fellow speakers, calling for freedom for Puerto Rican, Turkish and Kurdish prisoners, and international revolutionary prisoners.
She also denounced the current Greek government’s actions to build a closer relationship with the Zionist occupation as well as its concessions to European powers when SYRIZA was elected by the Greek people to reject these forces. She particularly highlighted the government’s pursuit of natural gas deals with the occupier, noting that such deals were based on the profiteering and plundering from stolen Palestinian gas, and only pose further threats of exploitation to the Greek people.
The Resistance Festival also marked the launch of a new Greek edition of Khaled’s 1973 book, My People Shall Live. The new Greek edition, with a foreword by the book’s translator/editor Ioanna Radaiou of Resistance for a Free Palestine and an introduction by Comrade Khalil Maqdisi, was launched with two nights of book signing on June 25 and 26, where lines of people stood to meet Comrade Leila and have her sign copies of the new book.
She also met with prominent Greek political figures, including Zoe Konstantopoulou, former Speaker of the Greek Parliament, where she emphasized the need to build stronger mutual solidarity to confront the forces of imperialism and colonialism that threaten the Palestinian and Greek people. She met with Member of European Parliament Sofia Sakorafa, former Olympic athlete and a longtime supporter of the Palestinian people, emphasizing the importance of supporting Palestinian political prisoners and the Palestinian struggle for liberation.
Khaled also presented before a political forum at the Agricultural University of Athens before hundreds of activists and cadres of Greek progressive political forces, emphasizing the importance of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign and the need to cut off all forms of political, economic, military, and academic cooperation between Greece and the Zionist state.
This visit came despite various attempts and pressures exerted by the Israeli embassy in Athens against the visit of Leila Khaled and attempts to cancel her events, threaten her personally, and silence her speeches. The Greek leftist forces with which she met emphasized their commitment to stand with the Palestinian people and their resistance for return and liberation.
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