Dana Farraj is Palestinian. She studied law in her country and did a four-month internship in Colombia with Equipo Jurídico Pueblos. Dana is part of the Palestinian movement known as PULSE (Palestinian people united for freedom, solidarity, and emancipation), which in turn is a component of a youth forum called Nabd. In the formal presentation of PULSE, “the need arises for convergent initiatives and movements that fight for freedom and justice against oppression, exploitation, and discrimination around the world.
Les mesures d’austérité imposées par le gouvernement Couillard au milieu carcéral résultent en des conditions de vie devenues insupportables. On nous traite comme des chien.ne.s dont la vie ne vaut rien. Le gouvernement coupe dans les budgets de l’administration, et celle-ci se fait une joie de nous refiler la facture. Nous n’avons pas les grands syndicats nationaux pour défendre notre intérêt, pas de gens payé.e.s pour mener des campagnes de mobilisation en notre nom, pas personne pour nous défendre à notre place.
« Without the river, I can’t laugh, I can’t dream, I can’t live: rivers for life, not death! » This quote is taken from one of the testimonies that moved the activists that took part in the Caravan for the Defense of Life and Territory, an event that took place from the 15th to the 28th of August 2015. This event was organized by the The Network for Fraternity and Solidarity with Colombia.
We have received your photos and messages. Your posters and gestures of support bring smiles to our faces at a time when the justice department is trying to send us to jail. The messages we have received from friends in the Southern Cone and all the way to Europe have given us strength and resolve.
“The old human work is about to try to catch the light. Will you remember that we believed being able to light the night?
Time has drained us all from our space, but the darkness is still full of fireflies”
Today again they called us terrorists. Today again we have been put in the same place of the lords of death and ignominy. Today they insist in pointing us as extremely dangerous people.
Prisoners in Colombia have recently gained new visibility. Prisoner protest actions are one factor. Another is discussion at the Havana peace talks of prisoners as victims of armed conflict. November 2014 marks the two-year anniversary of talks between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government.
Inmates from all over Colombia have initiated a period of strikes and civil disobedience in response to what they call a “criminal, unjust, and elitist policy.” They are denouncing the prison and jail system which subjects them to a bad diet, severely lacks in its provision of health care, is ineffective in dealing with legal and administrative procedures, and has violated human rights.