Friday, December 28, 2007

Palestine-Israel, AAtW activity in the joint struggle against separation fence + occupation Tel Aviv, Bil'in, 443 highway, Bethlehem. 28 Dec 2007

The weekend activity of the anarchists against the wall (AAtW) started with the monthly critical mass against occupation. We started a new tradition of such critical mass at the last Thursday of the month. (The activists of the usual "green" critical mass of bicycles driving, protested our use of the label in the critical mass we did at the "celebration" of 40 years to the occupation.
However, after they were rebuffed, they stopped complaining.) About 30 riders with the dram orchestra participation "toured" the main streets of Tel Aviv center. The police pressured the riders to let traffic go on one of the two lanes main street, but when the riders took narrower streets, the police just let them ride freely till they ended the "tour".

Friday our activists participated in three demonstrations only - Bilin, 443 apartheid high way, Bethlehem,.... as that of Um Salmuna was canceled.

In Bilin the Friday demonstration started at noon as usual - Palestinians, internationals and AAtW activists. For a bit of change the internationals who participated in it was a good size Italian delegation. At the confrontation site - in the foot of the hill the gate in the fence to the west side, the state force tolerated for a while the crossing of people to the other side of the line marking the forbidden zone for Friday demonstrations. After a while they showered us with canisters of tear gas. This time they were doing it in a new strategy, and succeeded to force us back to the built area of the village.

Friday noon there was also a demonstration at the 443 apartheid highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It cross through the lands of the villages Beit Sira, Saffa, Beit Liqiya, Kharbatha al-Misbah, Beit Ur al-Tahata, Beit Ur al-Foqqa and al-Tirra west to Ramallah. Approximately 40,000 Israeli citizens travel on it on a daily basis - but the villagers it was built on their lands are not allowed to use it.

The usual activists of the neighboring villages, with internationals and Israelis of the AAtW marched as usual from Kharbatha al-Misbah towards the near by highway. However, this time the choose a new route not tried before. They started to climb on the step margin of the highway. It took the Israeli state force in surprise, but quickly they reorganized and blocked the way of the demonstrators from approaching the fence that was already been built there on the two sides of the highway.

After a prolonged period, the people started to return to the village while the state force following them - waiting for the first stone thrown on them to start their usual show of power. And indeed, they entered the village with two armored cars, using tear gas. After the show of they left the village. At the exit, they encountered 10 activists of the AAtW sitting with two Palestinians, waiting for transportation. The state force cars stop there for a minute, and as a "present" they threw a tear gas grenade on the sitting comrades.

In the south, there was a demonstration in Bethlehem itself. Lot of local people and activists from the region, with internationals and AAtW Israelis marched towards a small fortress blocking the road toward Jerusalem. There was a sporadic stone throwing on the structure - with no response. After about 20 minutes the people returned to the city.

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