With the passing away of Nelson Mandela, South Africa has lost a truly inspirational leader of their struggle against apartheid. The world has lost a symbol of the human quest for justice and equality. Palestine has lost a comrade in the struggle that never forgot the natural bond between two people fighting apartheid.
The Palestinian people will not forget the solidarity Nelson Mandela has shown to our struggle when apartheid in his country was ended. We will continue to remember his commitment to the Palestinian cause when he stated at the United Nations ceremony of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People that ‘we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians’.
Now that we are mourning the passing away of Mandela, we are remembering not only his personal achievements and vision but follow his will ‘to be remembered as part of that collective.’ Mandela truly was a leader of one of the most powerful liberation movements.
We want to remember the achievements of the movement, the strength, determination and suffering of the South African people and their courage to continue to work for overcoming the legacy of apartheid. The millions of people that day after day resisted oppression and with this struggle inspired millions more around the world to stand up against apartheid in South Africa and against racism and colonial oppression everywhere. We want to remember the global anti-apartheid movement that based on the South African call for the boycott of apartheid has mobilized people, organizations and finally governments across the globe.
While a unique hero of justice is gone today, the spirit of the collective struggle to fight apartheid is re-forming slowly but incessantly to finally defeat as well Israeli apartheid. In the streets of Palestine the flame of resistance against apartheid is continuing to deny Israeli apartheid the status of ‘normality’. Once again picket lines against products of apartheid appear in front of supermarkets, shareholder meetings are interrupted by those that denounce the dirty business with apartheid and even in the corridors of government the calls to end complicity are gaining voice.
The United Nations has declared 2014 the Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Twenty years from the end of apartheid in South Africa, it is up to us all to let the spirit of unbreakable resistance to apartheid live on.
We will continue the struggle against apartheid until one day – just like Nelson Mandela – we can announce “Free at last”!
Let the new anti-apartheid movement grow! Amandla!