Saturday, April 7, 2007

Palestine-Israel, against the occupation and the fence - struggle in Bil'in & Um Salmuna 07 Apr 2007

The Friday action in Um Salmuna started in the morning with a direct action of Palestinians, Internationals, and Israelis of the Anarchists Against The Wall initiative. The pick of the action was the blocking of a bulldozer that was working on the route of the building site of the separation fence.
After the action which ended with only one injured and only short detention of two activists, some of the AATW activists joined as reinforcement to the other AATW in the demo in Bil'in.


The report from the is as follows:

Ma'asara : Good Friday demo against the wall 06/04/2007 The struggle against the apartheid wall in villages south of bethlehem took a step forward, today when the regular "Friday demo" was replaced by a direct action against the bulldozers that works on the wall.
some forty demonstrators gathered together in the village of wadi nis, inspired by the work of the great surrealist artist Muhammad khatib of Bilin, the demonstrators carried a huge cross to observe "good friday". They marched to the path of the wall where they blocked a working bulldozer, the works were stopped for an hour until a force of "MAGAV"(border police) issued the usual excuse of "close military zone".

after the demonstrators refused to leave the place the police force attacked the demonstrators injuring one of them and detaining two others . after a short negotiation with the police the three people detained were released, and the demonstrators walked back to the village promising to repeat a similar actions on a regular basis.


In Bil'in, the "creativity" of the new commander was expressed again... When the usual Friday noon march of Palestinians from the village and the region passed at the fringe of the built area of the village, the border gendarme provocateur unit was there as usual - to provoke the stone thrower kids. However, when we arrived at the blocked gate to the route of the fence and the village land West of it, (including the new village outpost there) we found the "decoration" of the gate. In order to prevent the demonstrators from too intimate confrontation with the soldiers, metal rods were wielded to it.

It took the activist few minutes and the gate was "bare" again. The punishment was a single shock grenade that was supposed to start the barrage of stone throwing from people who join the demonstration but do not support the nonviolent mode the village popular comity adopted from the beginning of the joint struggle there.

(After a long internal struggle in the village, these stone throwers - who differ qualitatively from the kids confronting the gendarmes at the fringe of the village, a kind of agreement-concession was arrived. Though they do not always adhere to it, they agreed not to start the stone throwing near the gate before the army start to throw grenades and shooting.)

This time, the activists of the village popular comity succeeded to calm them down after the lone shock grenade of the army, and some minute afterwards, so the low intensity confrontation and low violence from the soldiers continued, till a new volley of shock and tear gas grenades and stone throwing in response started.

As usual, the soldiers showered all of us with shock grenades, few tear gas ones too but very few as the wind tended to change directions and punish the soldiers. They also shot lot of rubber coated bullets and the new "non lethal" ones on the stone throwers and drove them away.

The main body of the demonstrators did not run away - just moved few meters to the side..... continuing the low intensity confrontation with the soldiers.

A strange thing happened twice in this demonstration not ever before: After the stone throwers run a way few tens of meters, a contingent of soldiers advanced 20 meter to a better position to fire from it on the distancing stone throwers. this initiated a group of our people to make a line before the soldiers, preventing them from continuing shooting, and applying pressure (mostly verbal) and forcing them to retreat to the gate to the route of the fence.

During the confrontation, about 15 were lightly injured, and treated at the site of the demo.

At the first stage of the demo, Jonathan Polak of the AATW was picked by the soldiers. They wished to use a suspended 3 month arrest verdict in Tel Aviv court to get rid of him and his participation in the demonstrations in Bil'in. "Yontatan was arrested today in the demo in Bil'in. he is accused in violating a close military zone and illegal gathering, the police decided to leave him for a weekend break in jail. he will be brought in front of a judge tomorrow night in "Migrash Harrusim" in Jerusalem at 19:30.
people are welcome to come a support him there".

Till now, every time they brought one of us to the judge they accused that person with harsher acts... they failed to get more than ordering the comrade to keep away from the demonstration for 10 to 14 days (and even that not every time as we had usually video clips to prove the the accusation is false).

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