Palestine-Israel, The involvement of the AAtW* in the joint struggle against the separation fence and occupation continue
This Friday the focus was on the demonstration in Um Salmuna which focused on solidarity with administratively jailed Mousa Abu Maria - one of the main organizers of the (joint) struggle in the region. "Only" ten of us were arrestables in this demonstration... and they were detained but state authority decided to release them after an hour. A new front of struggle opened in the village of Ne'ilin (we pass every Friday on our way to Bil'in) After meetings and other joint actions during the year, a new front opened when when a new part of the separation fence was started. In Bil'in, the 170th Friday demonstration was in the new stile, with successful contact with the electronic fence.
"We are all Mousa Abu Maria" - A solidarity action in Um Salmuna by kobi snitz
10 arrested today in a solidarity action with Palestinian political prisoner Mousa Abu Maria.
Mousa is a well known nonviolent activist and a co-founder of the Palestinian Solidarity Project. He has been a lead organizer in peaceful protest involving hundreds of Israelis and internationals and has been committed to nonviolence for several years.
He has been arrested no April 11 and has since been placed in administrative detention. This is the Israeli term used for imprisonment without trial. His imprisonment is being appealed but since he had no trial it is nearly impossible to challenge the decision.
The weekly demonstration against the wall in Um Salamuna was also in solidarity with Mousa Abu Maria. Mousa was a key organizer for such demos and attended them regularly. The demonstrators who included Palestinians, Internationals and Israelis wore signs on their chests reading "I am Mousa Abu Maria" in several languages. When the demonstrators refused to be ordered around by occupying soldiers on Palestinian land the army considered that a 'provocation'. Ten demonstrators were arrested for this crime and stuffed into an army truck. As the truck drove the demonstrators away they passed a diplomatic delegation stopped by the side of the road. It later turned out that it was French Foreign minister Kouchner who was probably on his way from Bethlehem to Hebron (seen in the AP picture while in Bethlehem). It would be interesting to know if Kouchner had an idea of the struggle waged by the people of the villages he passed by.
After about an hour in detention the detained protectors were dumped in a settlement near Jerusalem.
Original and pictures at:
Link to video of this Friday demonstration in Um Salmuna
Link to video of the previous Friday demonstration in Um Salmuna
Nakba day in Um Salmuna 16-5-08 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEztbJ_mMgI
The new front in Ne'ilin
During the last year we were invited for consultation, coordination meetings and few actions in relation with the separation fence and the near by settler colony Hqshmonaim. This Friday, a team of the AAtW together with a Czech media worker participated in the demonstration against the starting of the works on another part of the separation fence on the lands of the village. Following is the report of one of our team:
On Friday I was at Nilin and we had what I felt was a very successful
demo. There were about 130 people altogether, with 20 or so
internationals and three of our lot. First we met with some of the
organizers in the village and they gave us a short presentation about
the village (they went from 78,000 dunum in '48 to 7500 now) and then we
marched towards the "disputed" land, right underneath the fence of
Hashmonaim settlement. After a lengthy prayer the majority of the
village youth and several internationals went down the hill and towards
the settlement and the soldiers. The soldiers opened fire with
rubber-coated steel bullets and the villagers responded with rocks.
After about half an hour of victimless exchange the soldiers fired lots
and lots of tear gas towards the more active half of the stone-throwers.
During all this the rest of the villagers and the internationals were on
the opposite hill, shouting support. After about an hour of running
around and hiding behind rocks (unfortunately the soldiers never got
close enough for us to address them properly) we left and went back to
the village. The only casualty I know of is one guy who got a slightly
bruised hand from a rubber bullet.
This may seem like a pretty average demo, but the sense of optimism,
enthusiasm and sheer anger (at least in the numerous village youth) was
inspiring and we all came back feeling exhilarated (though tired) and
talking about what a successful action it was.
There will be another demo tomorrow (Sunday) at 11am and on Tuesday at
11 again. Tomorrow's demo is a smaller one for the landowners, and on
Tuesday they would like a big gathering. We are invited to both.
In Bil'in, the 170th joint Friday demonstration against the separation fence and occupation - that is already a legend (Google: 292,000 for "Bil'in"). Lately, another point of the separation fence that rob more than the village lands was selected - Northern than the gate to the other side where the Israeli state force are waiting for us. When we arrived near the fence - after the usual march at noon from the village center, we found only few soldiers at the other side of the fence, who did not respond to the assault of the bolder participants.
People succeeded to pass the spool of the barbed wire and the outer fence of the route of the separation fence, shook the electronic fence and even hung flags on it. Stones were thrown on a photoelectric gadget of the fence too... and still no response. Only when a reinforcement from the state forces at the gate arrived, the usually shooting of tear gas and rubber coated bullet started.
Few times, tear gas grenades were returned to them, and one of these landed in the middle of concentration of state force who retreated fast for a while - tasting what they treat us every Friday.
See Emad video of this Friday demonstration at:
Following is an excerpt of the report of one of the village comity:
"Villagers from Bil'in, located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, supported by international and Israeli peace activists conducted their weekly nonviolent protest, on Friday midday, against the illegal Israeli wall built on the village's land.Protesters carried banners demanding the removal of the Israeli wall and settlements. As is the case each week the protests started after the mid-day Friday prayers were finished in the local mosque, villagers from Bil'in, along with Israeli and international peace activists, marched towards the location of the Wall which is separating the village from its land."
Though the grass roots villages' comities and even higher national levels
of the Palestinians of all parties and trends support the joint struggle with the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative, it is not easy for them to reveal our political identity.
Most of the instances they label us as Israeli peace activists... but often enough people and even political leaders do give us credit with our true identity admitted.