This was the 140th joint Friday demonstration in Bil'in against the separation fence and occupation. Joint struggles against the separation fence were in other villages before the struggle started in Bil'in 32 months ago, or in parallel to it. However, it seems some things changed the last few months. Activists from other villages come to Bil'in not only to participate in solidarity, but to learn how to do it in their places. The most prominent of these are the relation between activists and the struggle in the Bethlehem region - in which there are already for months Friday demonstrations against the separation fence in building and other direct actions. Few months ago, we had a whole buss of people of the Bethlehem region who came to the Friday demo in Bil'in. Today, a contingent of 20 people from the Bethlehem region - including 15 cyclists, came to share with us the fumes of the tear gas grenades and canister of the Israeli state force.
As usual, we started at noon - Palestinians from Bil'in and Bethlehem region mainly, few internationals, and Israelis of the anarchists against the wall. All the way on the road towards the separation fence, the presence of the "guests" influenced the demonstration. The content of the slogan people shouted was richer than usual, and few of the Bil'in activists had a moving circle dance all along the way to the foot of the hill the gate in the separation fence is on.
As usual, after a short converging at the blocked road while hearing the threat of the state force not to cross it, some participants did cross it. Though a man with his small child on his shoulders was at their front, the Israeli state force showered us with tear gas grenades.
Today the whether was clearly against us. There was little wind if at all and the direction was the worst to us. Thus, most of the people participated in the non violent demonstration had to regroup back to the fringe of the built area of the village, leaving the scene for the usual after demo confrontation between the stone thrower youth and the state force.
Though the demo was shorter than usual, the moral was high and people had non formal discussions about the future of the struggle in Bil'in and beyond it.
Video of the demonstration:
-------Um Salmuna - Bethlehem region -----
This Friday the demonstration in the Bethlehem region was near Um Salmuna. In the late morning, about 50 people - Palestinians from the regions, Israelis from the AATW and others from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and internationals converged at a vineyard near the road leading to the village and a near by Israeli colonialist settlement. Just in time, a similar size of Israeli state force "joined" the demonstrators and started to order them to move their cars away, and to start going adding pushing to hasten it.... Their commander even harassed physically a reporter of Roiters agency.
The demonstration marched towards the route of the separation fence in building, to a location East of the Israeli colonialist settlement Efrata and there filled with earth a chanel which was dug as part of the structure of the separation fence.
As part of the Israeli state force policy to minimize the media exposer applied often in Bethlehem region, they refrained from preventing the "earth work" the construction company will undo easily after the weekend.
Afterwards the demonstrators marched some more along the route of the separation fence before ending the demonstration.