Monday, March 31, 2008

text Palestine-Israel, a busy weekend of struggle of the AAtW and partners around the "land day" Mar 31 2008

All along the week activity in support for the refugees from Darfur and other African states. Thursday critical mass against occupation in Tel Aviv. Friday the 161s demonstration against the separation fence, Um Salmune second year of struggle, and El Khader which try to follow the Bil'in persistent mode of action.... And Jafa too, which was annexed long ago to Tel Aviv and now pass a combination of gentrification and expelling the Palestinian citizens of old neighborhoods of Jafa. Saturday in Bidu, a village that was most active at the beginning of the struggle against the fence and after a long time low profile is intensifying again as a new expansion of the settlers neighborhood of Givat Zeev is done on their lands. Sunday, the traditional day of the (robbed land in process) within Israel (but now "celebrated" in the west bank too - Anarchists Against the Wall people are invited to more villages's demonstration than we can cover.


The activity in solidarity with the refugees consist of ongoing help in finding basic needs and protection against the harassment of the immigration police who are not respecting, even the Israeli draconian laws. Many time, direct action of activists prevented the illegal harassments and promoted the media exposer.

Last week TV channels reported on the subject of refugees and the activity of AAtW in that context (claiming wrongly: "The anarchists against the wall moved from Bil'in to the refugees").

Critical Mass

The critical mass against occupation and especially the atrocities in Gaze on the evening of the last Thursday of the month become another tradition. Thursday late evening, about score of bicycle riders and dozen of non riders converged at the city square and started the riding. During 45 minutes we traveled adjacent main streets, with flags, chanting slogans, occupying one lane and distributing leaflets to the passers by. The police was too busy with the earth day happening in the city square, thus they failed to harass us during that period. At the end they did come so we moved to the pavement and continued to the near by square, were we set for a while in a circle with the police unit keeping eye on us till we dispersed.



At the Friday demonstrations, the most lively was as usual the one at Bil'in. After marching from the village center we arrived at the gate and fences bordering the route the separation fence run in its middle.

The state force stayed for a while on an elevated ground on the other side of the route while people made the usual challenges. Even when people threw three hooks that caught the fence and started to pull the ropes connected them the state force kept a low profile - sporadic shooting and throwing grenades of tear gas.

After the unruly youngsters start to throw stones, the state force intensified their harassment. They crossed the route and the separation fence and though their use of tear gas was limited because the wind was often blowing towards them they shoot a lot of bullets coated by rubber.

As a new tactic, a metal structure used at one of the previous demonstrations was brought and used as a shield against the rubber bullets at the gate to the route of the separation fence.

However, in spite of the persistence of the demonstrators - including a good size delegation of France activists, after about an hour and a half of confrontation most of us returned to the village.

During the confrontation 17 were injured including seven journalists including few of the Aljazeera.Net team that was broadcasting live from the scene.

The parents of Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist who was killed by the Israeli army in Gaza five years ago, took part of the Bil'in protest.

Video link to this Friday demonstration in Bil'in: by Imad by David



Though the new surge of straggle in Bidu is taking its time, we were invited again a joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation. Due to logistic problem we arrived half an hour later than scheduled, th local activists waited for us.

We took cars from the converging place to a road near the separation fence, and had a short march towards a gate in it. The tactic was proved as clever, as though there is a Gendarme police compound near by, they were taken by surprise.

We succeeded to force open the metal gate blocking the free movement to the route of the separation fence. We advanced fast the remaining 20 meters to the locked gate of the separation fence itself and started to shake it. Just as we broke it open, cars loaded with state force arrived.

They threatened to shoot us if we will not retreat the 20 meters to behind the metal gate to the route. When we refused, they push us, till we were behind the gate and they closed it. There we continued to shout on them for a while and than returned to the village municipality where we had a meeting, some speeches and talks.

One of the AAtW activists was injured from a blow of a rifle but while we were pushed away from the separation fence.


The Day of the land

Jafa (long ago annexed to Tel Aviv municipality)

The big demo opening of the day of the land was in Jafa Friday early afternoon. The choice of location was because of the new wave of Israeli efforts to robe Palestinian property. About 500 Palestinian families were issued an order to evacuate their dwelling, and the struggle against it is more than a year old - with the involvement of the AAtW with the local Palestinians comity. About 1000 people - Palestinian citizens of Israel mainly, but also many Israeli Jews too (among them Activists of the AAtW).

Most of the demonstrations of the 30th of March Land Day occurred on Sunday

Activists of the AAtW joined the one at the village Dir Khadis - we are passing every Friday on the road to the near by Bil'in.

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