The week began with the morning joint action of the AAtW with the villagers of Ras-Tira - neighbors of Wadi Rasha of the previous week. At the evening The Anarchists Against the Wall initiative with part of the radical left demonstrated in front of the war ministry compound in Tel Aviv the murderous attack on Tristan Anderson in Ni'ilin.
During the week AAtW activists joined the struggle against eviction of Palestinians in the expanded Jerusalem and in Jafa too.
Friday, we participated as usual in the demonstration against the separation fence in Bil'in (the 213th), Ni'ilin, Um Salmuna, and Jaayous. Saturday we were invited to a meeting in Bidu - one of the first to struggle against the separation fence, in relation to the restrictions of crossing to their lands on the other side of it.
Ni'ilin 13.3.09 video of the demonstration at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TswsNohS__I
Tristan Anderson, an American citizen, was shot with an extended range tear gas canister at that a demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/v/G3NmAc2BwtI&hl=en&fs=1 He was hit in the forehead and remains in critical condition. Like him, several other demonstrators have been seriously injured by the new extended-range canisters. In addition, the army has returned to using the Ruger .22 rifle to shoot at demonstrators. The recent injuries are a direct and predictable result of that policy. The ordinary excuses about an unfortunate accident and an investigation in progress will satisfy only those who are willing to lie to themselves. It is time to protest the shooting of Tristan and demand that the army stop using these particularly lethal anti-demonstration weapons against demonstrators.
Demonstrate in front of the ministry of defense on Kaplan street in Tel Aviv 15-3-09 (Sunday) at 7 PM
Solidarity Protest with Tristan in Tel Aviv 15/03/2009 http://awalls.org/solidarity_protest_with_tristan_in_tel_aviv
On Sunday evening, around seventy Israeli activists - as well as a few international ones - gathered in front of the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv to show their solidarity with Tristan Anderson, currently lying unconscious and in serious condition at Tel HaShomer Hospital near Tel Aviv, and to express their outrage at his injury and the events surrounding it.
Upon arrival, everyone was quickly – and rather aggressively – herded by police officers into a small fenced-off “protest area”, which was surrounded on all sides by numerous soldiers of the Border Police.
The cardboard sign says "Murderer" in Hebrew, with an arrow pointing towards the closest Border Police soldier The cardboard sign says "Murderer" in Hebrew, with an arrow pointing towards the closest Border Police soldier
Protesters, representing several organizations, held up signs in both Hebrew and English condemning the army’s standard practice of firing teargas, rubber coated steel bullets and at times live ammunition into Palestinian demonstrations as a means of dispersing them, as well as the general brutality and inhumanity of Israel’s military occupation. Among the slogans chanted were “we shall neither kill nor be killed in the name of Zionism”, “Soldier, murderer – the Intifada will win!” and “Tristan, Tristan, don’t despair, we shall end the occupation”.
The banner reads "Murderers in Uniform"The banner reads "Murderers in Uniform"
During the demonstration, people addressed the Border Police soldiers present directly, some angrily pointing out to them that they are personally responsible for the atrocities their units commit in Palestinian areas (it was Border Police soldiers who fired the teargas canister that hit Tristan), while others tried explaining to them the reasons why Palestinians are demonstrating in the first place, and urged them to "turn around, go [into the Ministry of Defense] and arrest the real criminals!”. Furthermore, the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Tristan Anderson (and their wider context, i.e the Palestinian struggle against the wall) were described over a megaphone, making sure everyone understands what the demonstration is about.
After approximately an hour and a half, the demonstration ended without incident.
Friday demonstration was as usual. As usual, when we were near the gate to the route the Israeli state force started to shower us with tear gas... but there was strong East wind that blew the tear gas towards the soldiers who were not wise enough to throw/shoot the tear gas canisters so it will reach us instead of them. So, they changed after a long pause to sound grenade that had no impression on us. When we over heard that they intend to change to shooting us in revenge for the tear gas the wind blew to them the village comity declared the demo finished.
As usual, kids did their stone throwing battle after the demo, while we visited a family.
About an hour later two soldiers who pursued kids into the near by village alley - shooting tear gas canisters, came near to us. We confronted them and they retreated to the intersection in the entrance to the village where the main force was - about a dozen soldiers and two armored cars. We confronted them too with other village activists till they stop shooting and retreated from the village.
RAS-TIRA - 15-3-09
During the long demonstration and the uprooting of the olive trees, a group of village women and one of AAtW encircled a tree on the road of destruction and blocked the advance of the uprooting machine for few hours. More than thirty ancient olive trees were uprooted that day at Ras a Tira. Links to videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX8pJooJ66g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkq8SlwKdKw
Over thirty ancient olive trees were uprooted yesterday in the groves of Wadi arRasha and Ras atTira in the Qalqilya region, as part of the construction of a new path for the wall in the area. The uprooting was secured by an overwhelming presence of soldiers, police and riot police, who prevented the villages' women attempt to obstruct the destruction.
Currently, the two villages are separated from the rest of the West Bank by the wall, which was constructed to secure as much land as possible to the nearby settlement of Alfei Menashe. Following an Israeli Supreme Court decision, the path of the wall in the area is being rerouted so to exclude the villages from the Alfi Menashe enclave. The new route, though now leaving the villages east of the wall, is still planned with expansionist aspirations in mind, and may actually worsen the villagers' situation. Under the new path, though no longer separated from the rest of the West Bank, Wadi arRasha will be cut off from virtually all of its lands, with only a quarter of an acre out of about 200 left on their side of the wall. In addition, dozens of olive trees are expected to be felled to allow for the construction of the new path.
Few links of interesting articles in the week end addition of the daily, about the 22 days of Cast Lead massacre in Gaza:
A video censored by TV authority of the radical social community channel