Saturday, March 10, 2007

Palestine-Israel, the joint struggle continue: Bil'in - 109th Friday demo; Um Salmuna; Jafa.... 10 Mar 2007

In Bil'in it was like a well rehearsed ritual. A march at Friday noon from the center of the village on the road leading to the route of the separation fence, used for robbing more the village lands located west of it - for building the settler town on it. As usual, it was Palestinians from the village and from the region - including people from the Ramalla city; Internationals; Israelis from the anarchists against the fence initiative; and media. As usual, we marched with flags and placards - chanting and singing. As usual we passed at the fringe of the village the state force provocation unit "inviting" there the village kids for confrontation with stones versus rubber coated bullets and tear gas. As usual, the nonviolent demonstration continued the one kilometer march to the blocked gate to the route of the separation fence and to the western lands beyond it.

As usually the low intensity confrontation started there with the Israeli state forces - words mainly but also efforts to cross the blocked gate which few activist half successfully did... only to be blocked behind the gate.

As usually, When we just arrived there, some belligerent youth tried to assault the state force at the gate by stones and sticks... but this time were restrained by the activists of the village comity - preventing them to give the state force to disperse the demo immediately. After a while, the state force escalated the confrontation near the gate - throwing shock grenades on us - which brought immediately the stone throwing of youth from the fringe of the demo who just waited for an excuse - only half respecting the non violent mode of the demo.

As usually, the state force assaulted both the stone throwers and the non violent demonstrators... As usually, after driving away the stone throwers the soldiers tried - in vain, to drive us away too. As usual the confrontation between them and us continued with medium level of violence of the state force. As usual some of us were injured including two Israeli comrades who were taken by us to an Israel hospital for treatment and checking.

After a while the village comity declared the end of the demo and we returned to the village - passing peacefully through the confrontation zone between the village kids and the state force, as the kids took a pause in their stone throwing so we will not be injured by them or the state force.

At that point there were already 11 of the kids injured by rubber coated bullets.

A poetic justice: One of the Israeli state forces broke his leg while chasing a demonstrator near the blocked gate. Another of the state force - from among the provocateurs unit at the fringe of the village was injured by a stone thrower.

See picture and a different report at: ----------------------------------------------------------

Um Salamuna: Protest Stalls Work On The Fence Author Reven

Last Friday, Um Salamuna hosted another demonstration against construction of the fence on it's lands, as a part of the expanding popular campaign.

Three hundred participants marched onto the construction site where Friday prayers were held, mostly residents of Um Salamuna and the nearby Wadi Nis, along with a few international and Israeli activists [some of the anaechists against the wall initiative]. Following the prayer, as speeches were made reiterating the purpose of the upcoming action, the large military and police presence began distancing the bulldozers from the demonstration's projected path.

As the demonstration got underway, quickly marching up the hill in pursuit of the bulldozers, a group of soldiers in riot gear attempted to stop the group by blocking the road. Reacting quickly, demonstrators sat down in a show of non-violence. The bulldozers were again moved to a new location in a scramble to continue raizing the lands in preperation for the fence. Eventually the soldiers were forced to allow the protest to proceed.

About 50 meters up the path the scene repeated, only that by this time the bulldozers had reached the end of the road, at this point moving them became complicated. Recognizing their success in disrupting work the demonstrators were quick to stand up this time around. A local elder insisted that the soldiers allow the demonstration to continue to the end of the path. Another speech was made in front of the soldiers as the bulldozers again crambled to continue their work, and eventually the demonstration continued back towards the village through the fields, in a celebratory mood.

This week the group gathered in the Wadi Nis diwan for a communittee gathering including refreshments and a lively debate concerning a range of issues surrounding the struggle against the wall. This meeting, like others that have followed the local demonstrations, reflect the organizers' commitment to a non-violent popular struggle and demonstrate their skills for expanding it futher. Speakers also often recalled the importance of solidarity work by Israeli and international activists, reminding us of the challenges ahead, and strengthening our hands.



See pictures at:

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