Friday, November 25, 2005

Palestine-Israel, the joint Friday demonstration against the fence in the village Bil'in 25-11-05

This Friday demonstration in Bil'in was marking the 29-11-1947 the United Nation decision to partition the British mandate of Palestine into two states - one for the Palestinians and one for the Jews... This decision supplied Israel state that was built at 15-5-1948 the "justification" and the formal "legality". This decision enabled the the Zionist establishment to build the Israeli state, annex half of the area allocated to the Palestinian state (by secret agreement with the Jordanian rulers who were still under the British hegemony, who got the other half of the area allocated to the Palestinian state) and to expel/transfer hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land.

The creative art of this week was a long banner on which were drawn four maps of the region west of the Jordan river. The first one was the map of the British mandate of Palestine - after it was separated from the East of the Jordan part at 1922. The second was the 1947 map of the United Nation division of Palestine between the Palestinians and the Zionist-Jews state to be, that devoured half of Palestine. (In that area were living about 600 thousands Jews and nearly the same number of Palestinians - the overwhelming majority of them were transferred during the 1948 war.)
The third map was of the 1948-1967 borders which included in the Israeli state both the half allocated to it by the UN and additional half from what was allocated to the Palestinians, but was deviled between Israel and Jordan. Thus, living for the Palestinians only 25% of the land.
(Palestinians who were residents of the additional areas to be annexed to Israel by the pre war secret agreement, but were not conquered by it during the fake war with Jordan, were transferred to it after the war, on condition Israel will not expel the Palestinians living in them like it did to most Palestinians in the areas allocated to it by the UN and the areas conquered by it during the "independent war" of 1948 - the Palestinian Nakba.) The fourth map was of the the border of the Palestinian authority - the "A" areas which consists of half of the areas west of the Jordan held by the Jordanians before the 1967 war - 12.5% of the area west of the Jordan.
After this map there was drawn a big question mark.... In addition to the big banner we prepared placards in Arabic, Hebrew, and English to accompany the big banner.

At noon - after the prayer at the mosque ended, we started the demonstration, as usual, with a march on the road leading to the route of the separation fence building. The big banner and the placards were as usual at the front of the march. Participated in it 100 Palestinians, 20 internationals and about 30 Israelis of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative and others of the anti separation fence coalition. (The relatively small number of Israeli participants was because a similar number of our activists participated the same time in a similar demonstration against the separation fence at the village Abud - the Israeli state forces harassment of Israeli activists coming to Bil'in succeeded only to cause 5 comrades to come 20 minutes after the demo started...)

The march to the fence was as usual - chanting and singing along the road leading to the fence, but just before reaching it we turned to the side and in a swift move through the olive orchards to a location where heavy tractors were working on the fence route. This surprise move enabled us to arrive just near the route and with gradual pressure to even spill into it. This Friday we did not try to stop the work of the tractors, but when they wanted to travel the route towards their parking lot, we did not clear the way and they had to wait till we finished the demonstration there. This Friday - not like that of two weeks before, the state force did not try to disperse us by force and tear gas to clear the way for the tractors. The regional commander who was present just instructed them to wait till the demo end. It seems that the first TV channel brief report of two weeks ago and the detailed report to be on it this Friday, which was not sympathetic to the state forces caused the change of mind.

After a while, when the sweet taste of the small victory lost its luster we decided to move to the near by location where the fence was already built. The swift move surprised the state forces again, and few of us reached the fence route the army insist so much to prevent us. The noise of stone knocking on the metal structure protecting the fence was heard far and wide - another small moral buster for us. We could see how the rushing soldiers were making efforts to take away from the fence one of our comrades who insisted to touch it. Later, the repeating of knocking on the metal structure resulted in a detention for an hour of a comrade - released after the demo ended. In spite of threats of arrests, the bad PR the state forces get for their behavior in the Bil'in Friday demonstrations make them much more cautious in their treatment of the nonviolent demonstrations.

After a two and a half hours demo - instead of the one hour long originally planed, we returned to the village a bit weary but satisfied.

And as usual, in parallel to our non violent demonstration there was the the attrition war between the stone throwing youngsters and the tear gas shooting soldiers in the olive orchards not far from the demo. It seems that even in this endeavor the state forces were much less belligerent.

On our way to the village we met stone throwers from another village who came to join the struggle, who were too on their way home.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, the nine months Friday joint demos tradition continue - 18-11-05

In spite of 4 military jeeps road block on the way from Safa to Bil'in we succeeded to infiltrate to the village and participate in the preparation of art display of the Friday demo. Two "fences" on which was written in the three languages - Arabic, Hebrew, and English: "Your fence is killing our independence", and groups of 4 balloons with the color of the Palestinian flag - connected this Friday demo to the Palestinian declaration of independence to be from 17 years ago.
Next day, the israeli armed forces succeeded to delay the arrival to the demo of the other Israelis, but even the late comers came in time to participate in it. Friday noon, as usual, we started the weekly march from the center of the village to the fence route - about 150 Palestinians, 30 of the Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall initiative and others - less than the usual because of parallel demo in Abud village, and 30 international activists.

At the head of the marching mass and at its end were carried the fences we prepared and within them we marched chanting, singing, and on occasion even some did the ritual danced. For their fun, children who joined the demo caused from time to time to a balloon explosion with its intense noise.

And as usual, the march brought us to 50 meter from fence route where the Israeli armed forces blocked our way and prevented the hanging of the balloons on the fence. As a provocation, the nine months policy of not working on the fence route in Bil'in region on Fridays to lower the tension, it was the second Friday in a row they put a machine to work during the demonstration.

After doing the demo on the road there for a while, we started to move to the "forbidden" sides of it which aroused the fear of the state forces that we might succeed to reach the near by fence route. With efforts they pushed us back again and again while tiring and angering them. They detained one of us to be released on the spot at the end of the demo. The frustrate commander who was limited by orders from doing arrests and harsher measures against the non violent demonstrators, ordered to push are back on the road - few meters at a time. Claiming it is because we do not stop the youngsters who left the demonstration earlier, from throwing stones on soldiers in near by olive orchard. On one of the occasions he even ordered the destruction of our two art display fences.

The youngsters, frustrated from the nonviolent response of the participants of the Friday demonstrations to the army harassment, usually start their few hours attrition war of stones versus tear gas and rubber bullets of the state forces in the near by olive orchards.

(This attrition war seems to serve the state propaganda, and if the youngsters do not start it spontaneously the state forces provoke them and even some times send under cover unit to start the stone throwing....)

Near the end of the demo, the stone throwing youngsters came near the road and stoned the soldier who were pushing us injuring only one of the demonstrators who was treated on the spot by the ambulance medics who are with us every Friday demo. This stone throwing made us to finish hastily the demo to evade being in the middle between the stones and the shooting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

US, Ayad Morrar and Jonathan Pollack from Palestine-Israel, on Democracy Now! Wednesday 16 Nov

Ayed Morrar (Abu Ahmed) from Budrus and Jonathan Pollack from Tel Aviv will be guests on Democracy Now! tomorrow; Wednesday, November 11. Ayed is an organizer with the Popular Committee to Resist the Wall, and Jonathan is a member of the Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall. They have just completed a month-long national speaking tour, discussing the current situation on the ground in Palestine and the grassroots resistance to the "Separation Wall." For more information, see
In New York: Radio: WBAI, 9 -10am TV: CUNY-TV at 6:30pm, ch. 75 (rebroadcast at 1am) Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) 8 - 9am, ch. 34, 107 National and International show times listed at the Democracy Now! web site:

The show will also be archived on the Democracy Now! web site.
The speaking tour has been organized by ISM-USA.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, Friday 11-11-05, The joint struggle intensify

This Friday, like in the previous ones of the last nine months we had our joint demonstration against the separation fence that robe more than half of the village lands (olive orchards) and against the Israeli occupation. The demonstrations are organized jointly by the village comity against the fence and the Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall initiative. Participated in it about 100 villagers (about 25% of the males in the appropriate age range), about 45 Israelis of the coalition against the fence, and about 30 international activists from various organizations.
Like usual the Israelis had to evade the Israeli forces road blocks intended to put end to the joint struggle. Like usual we came early in order to prepare the materials.

The theme of this demonstration was activists figures inspiriting the struggle in Bil'in: Gandhi, Rosa Farks, and Martin Luther king - for the mass nonviolence aspect of struggle, Arafat for the Bil'in people (in a year to his death), Rosa Luxemburg (as one of the most prominent female revolutionaries), Nelson Mandela symbolizing the struggle against apartheid.... Masks with their photographs and placards with their photographs or names were prepared and were carried all along the demonstration.

Like the previous Friday we started at noon in a march on the road from the center of the village to the route the separation fence is built on. Like usual people chanted/sang and some times danced along the road till we were near the route where the Israeli state forces were ready to block our way 30 meters from the route.

Like in some of the previous demos, just before arriving there we veered to the side of the road and in a swift move succeeded to out maneuver the sate forces and arrived to the fence route, and some of us had even crossed to an olive grove in the lands to be confiscated and annexed to Israel.

Not like the other Fridays when work is not done on the fence rote near Bil'in to minimize the confrontation with the demo, there were working there two big tractors. When we tried to stop them from working the state forced who arrived after us acted swiftly with high intensity - including brutal pushes and shock grenades, and force us to move a bit so the work could continue. Three Israelis who were not fast enough to comply were detained on the spot, but were released to join the demo half an hour later.

Not like the the last few Fridays since we won the right to do the nonviolent Friday demonstration, the state forces had a new policy, expressed in full later.

The demo continued for nearly two hours with chanting, singing, and dancing, with verbal challenge to individual soldiers and border policemen, when we heard a command passed along the line of the state forces: "in five minutes time". And five minutes later the force stormed us very brutally and with no warning. They used pushing, batons, trough shock and tear gas grenades - both on people beyond the route and those who were on the route. I stayed on the route together with others who were protecting and helping the village head who fainted because of a tear gas damage. It took only minutes to see the reason/pretext for the abrupt brutal assault - the two heavy tractors finished their work and needed the clearing of the route so they can travel to another place.

During the assault on us, Abdallah - the head of the village comity against the separation fence was brutally assaulted and held by the soldiers, but during a treatment of his injuries he got freed from them and returned to the village.

Such a brutal behavior by the state forces who even run after the demonstrators who dispersed to the near by olive orchard could not pass unpunished. Tens of village youth who are ambivalent regarding the nonviolent nature of the main demo, who did not throw stones till that moment, start to do their thing. The state forces responded with increase of violence. More shock and tear gas grenades, and later, authorized from higher echelons switched to shouting rubber coated bullets, including snipers who succeeded to injure in the head a 14 year old kid as retaliation for two soldiers injured by stones.

In parallel to the attrition war between the stone throwers and the state forces, the nonviolent demonstrators reorganized and marched on the road to the fence rout we veered from two hours before.

And so continued the second part of the demo with a less brutal behavior of the state force - only pushes from time to time, and the arbitrary arrest of a Palestinian accusing him for assault on a soldier because he blew smoke from a cigarette towards him....

Following this was verbal confrontation between the state commanders and people of the demo and female relatives including his mother. At the end, they agreed to release him if we end the demonstration, and as the time was late afternoon we got him back - injured from state brutality but free, and returned to the village.

As a team of the main public TV station was with us - producing an item for the next week Friday TV journal, the inputted to this Friday TV main night program a clip showing the unprovoked state force brutality who justified themselves by our "obstructing the fence building".

In parallel to our demo, there was a small demo near the dismantled Berlin wall, to be repeated on the following Fridays.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, The joint Friday action theme was direct action and Id Al Fiter holyday 04 Nov

The Friday joint demonstration turned tradition for the last nine months, was characterized this Friday by a direct action against the fence followed by mixed families and activist celebration of the Id Al Fiter holiday in front of the soldiers "protecting" the separation fence in building. The activity started early in the morning, and when the preparations were finished we traveled to the route in which the separation fence is built that pass thorough uprooted groves of olive trees robed from the village people. At the beginning, participated in it about 25 Israelis (from the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative and the coalition against the fence), 10 international activists of the ISM, and 15 activists from the village.

When we arrived within few meters of the route of the fence, there were already present a dozen or two of soldiers, but they were not too focused... Before they could organize, about 20 activist (from the three components of the demo) chained themselves to the metal structure of the fence using metal sleeves to prevent forced unlocking them. How pity, because of a technical problem, the soldiers succeeded to pull the chained people out after few minutes, though not before the media people photographed that. Three of the unchained Israelis were arrested.

Few minutes later, the soldiers pushed all the activists present to a virtual line 50 meters from the route of the fence - were they block the last few weeks the Friday demos since they were forced to legalize them.

The second part of the Friday action started when lot of children (including toddlers) and young teens accompanied with 20 mothers or late sleeper fathers arrived. According to the mood of the holiday, the children and kids received lot of toys with which they started to play in front of the line of the soldiers. To make the children happier, a portable slide was brought for their fun - put just few meters from the line of the soldiers. The adults had to be satisfied with the holiday cookies distributed to all....

(Such playing in front of the soldiers may counter the fear aroused in them during the last few nights invasions of the army into the village and their homes to arrest so called Fridays stone throwers youngsters - nearly 20 of them were taken to the Ofer concentration camp).

During the morning, we were joined by late sleeper villagers and Israeli activists who did not know the start of the demo was changed from noon to early morning. When the people present reached its pick we were about 150 of whom about 40 Israelis, 15 international activists of the ISM and 100 Bil'in villagers.

Because of the specialty of the day activity - direct action and holiday celebration which was leaked to the media, many of its reporters were present - including a mobile TV transmitter for live morning program of the Aljazeera ... The Israeli public radio channel reported on the demo along the day and in the afternoon. They also said the activists chained themselves and that a reporter of Aljazeera TV was hit by soldiers and detained for a while.

Like in the previous legalized Friday demos, after a long while, part of the participants got restless, and started getting out of the road to the olive orchards on its sides through them people can (and often did) go around the soldiers block towards the fence route again. The detention of few people - who were released after a while did not deter us and we did arrived to the fence route, and three comrades who improved the chaining equipment succeeded to chain themselves again. This time in spite of painful pulling of arms of the chained ones, two of them stayed chained after the soldiers stopped their failed efforts.

The soldiers succeeded to force all but the two chained ones back to the road with the main body of the demo... and the two chained remained with six reporters taking pictures of them from every possible angel. The frustrated commander was herd appointing two of his force to keep guarding the two chained and to arrest them the minute they unchained themselves.

In spite the efforts of the small unit to isolate the two chained, few of us succeeded to visit them from time to time to give them moral support, while the demo-celebration continued.

And so it continued till noon when it started raining. we persisted another half an hour and than the demonstration start to disperse. In order to save the chained comrades from the whether and the army, a small group of people went "visiting" them, and while confronting with their guards, enabled them to unchain themselves and escape being arrested. While leaving the place the comrades heard the commander threatening the failed guards with a punishment.

In contradiction to the long chain of Fridays, today, the Israeli state forces failed to make problems to the Israelis arriving to the Friday demo in Bil'in.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

US, New York, "3 Cities" against the wall Public Events 03 Nov

Art exhibition to showcase work of Palestinian, Israeli, and American artists opposed to Israel's "Separation Wall" NEW YORK - Organizers of Three Cities Against the Wall will present a series of public events through the month-long run of the exhibition, the first of its kind in which Palestinian, Israeli, and American artists will be appearing together. The show, featuring 64 artists, many of them internationally known, will open on Nov. 9 in Ramallah, Palestine; Tel Aviv, Israel; and New York City. It will run for four weeks in all three cities.

Scheduled events are as follows:

Press Preview: Wednesday November 9 at 3:00pm ABC No Rio 156 Rivington Street (between Clinton & Suffolk)

Exhibition Opening: Wednesday November 9 at 7:00pm ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street and the Sixth Street Community Center 638 East Sixth Street (between Avenues B & C)

Artists Respond to the Wall: Thursday November 10 at 7:30pm ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street and Tuesday November 15 at 7:30pm VoxPop 1022 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn

Reportback: Tuesday November 22 at 7:30pm ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington Street "Three Cities" artists Sara Danielle Frank and Tom Lewis will discuss the exhibition following their return from Ramallah and Tel Aviv.

ABC No Rio* 156 Rivington Street New York, NY 10002 (212) 254-3697

ABC No Rio:
InterActivist Network:
InterActivist INFO EXCHANGE:

Contact: Steven Englander, (212) 254-3697 x.13,
* antiauthoritarian anticapitalist place