The struggle expanded this week. In addition to the usual Friday demonstrations against the separation fence and occupation in Bil'in, Ni'ilin, and Ma’asara (South of Bethlehem), we had actions Tel Aviv and Artas. In Tel Aviv it was mainly around the new assault of state against the One Profile - the feminist/refusnic initiative for support of refusnics (total refusnics mainly). In Ni'ilin it was a "usual" Friday demonstration. I Bil'in we had a big Israelis delegation including our famous Samba drums circle. In the south of Bethlehem there was a special first of May character: "The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions of the Bethlehem District and popular comity invite you to participate in a demonstration against the continuous land confiscations in the Bethlehem area on May 1s
SOUTH OF BETHLEHEM
"Yesterday, approximately 15 Palestinians were able to successful work their land just under Beit Ayn settlement for the first time in three weeks, even though both cars of Israeli activists were prevented from entering the area, the farmers were accompanied by 5 internationals."
"The farmers want to go again this Tuesday. We believe it is best if Israeli activists, if possible, can come and spend the night tomorrow, Monday, to ensure that they aren't kept out again (we are also anticipating tighter checkpoints starting Tuesday because of the "holiday" on Wednesday)."
"The farmers are really committed to going to the area again in a group, to demonstrate they will not be intimidated. We need as many people as possible. this is a critical time for grape farmers, who have to prepare the plants and the ground before the heat of summer."
"Last Tuesday we had a really good work day in Saffa. Though the cars were not allowed through the main entrance to Beit Ommar we got them in another way and farmers, going with two groups of activists (one group that spent the night before and then later with the people coming from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) they got in 5 hours of work before border police kicked us out of the area (even then we managed to delay for quite some time).
The farmers need one more day to complete their work, which is plowing (with tractors) the land. However, settlers again came to Saffa yesterday afternoon, setting fire to some trees and shooting at Palestinian homes before being chased away by the military (who then didn't let any Palestinians go and put out the fire)."
"The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions of the Bethlehem District as well as the area's Popular Committee Against the Wall invite you to participate in a demonstration against the continuous land confiscations in the Bethlehem area on May 1st, the International Labor Day."
"A solidarity procession will begin at Solomon's Pools (near the village of Artus/Irtas) at 10.30 and walk towards the lands that are facing land confiscation in the Abu Zaid Mountain area."
"In the demonstration of this morning 7 comrades were detained - 5 Palestinians, one AAtW activist and one international one. The Israeli and the international activists were released late evening on bail and restriction conditions, the five Palestinians - four of whom members of the local comity remained in jail.
Sunday, the state forces assaulted the New Profile refuser support. Activists were detained and interrogated.
Thursday evening comrades dared the state forces [put a siege] in a demonstration in front of the main Tel Aviv police station. 8 comrades were arrested and 4 of them stayed the night in jail in solidarity with the other 4.
Protest the investigation of New Profile video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXT08cISAMI
Police station protest turns ugly - ‘feminists & anarchists’, tsk tsk
Police made eight arrests Thursday during a protest at a Tel Aviv police station. Demonstrators were protesting a police raid on two websites that promote draft-dodging in Israel and the simultaneous arrests of several activists involved in their activity. About 50 protestors arrived at the Dizengoff St. Police Station; six women and two men were detained by Police Special Forces. Ayelet Maoz, an activist with the Coalition of Women for Peace and one of the organizers of the protest, said the police had been excessively violent with the demonstrators:
They were pushing people into the street without stopping the traffic. There are a few people here who nearly got run over. These are women over 80 years of age. This is not how the police are supposed to behave in Israel. We plan to file a complaint.
She said the law did not require them to file for a permit to stage the protest because it was merely an act of maintaining a quiet presence there throughout the day. A police statement said the demonstrators had been offered a meeting with the station chief but had refused:
This was an illegal protest staged by feminists and anarchists. The women besieged the station and would not allow anyone to enter or exit.
The statement added that attempts were made to move the protestors across the street before eight were detained for “rioting and failure to obey police orders.” Earlier this week police raided the offices of New Profile and Target 21, two websites that promote the dodging of the IDF’s mandatory draft. A total of 23 feminist organizations were angered by the move, and an enraged letter on the matter was sent to the Interior Ministry. Dorit Abramowitz, an activist for the organizations, explained that the large-scale feminist uprising was due to a violation of freedom of speech laws:
In any democracy there must be an opposition, but as we understand it, once an organization says something that differs from the government’s opinion they start to probe their files. We see this as a dictatorial move.
Israeli democracy for Jews still holding...
The judge before him the 8 comrade were brought the next morning criticized the police for holding the eight at jail that night - retreating from an initial release agreement. He also refused to increase the police demand to increase the release conditions.
On Sunday another demonstration on the same subject happened at city center:
"Some 50 punks, hoodies, anarchos, queers and 3 leftist aunties (myself included) gathered today at King George and Ben Zion to support freedom of expression and the New Profile organization that's suffering State and Police oppression. Large numbers of cops and SWATs stood across the street. But thanks to the samba percussionists the anticipated bone breaking assault on our skinny activist youth turned into a pleasant street party with leaflet distribution, slogan chanting, banner raising and pogo dancing (there wasn't any pogo, I'm embellishing). After about an hour and a half the demonstrators and cops dispersed without direct contact. Some participants are reported to have expressed discomfort with the "IDF is a terrorist organization" and "all soldiers are accomplices to murder" slogans.
The Murder of Basem two weeks before arose the anger and persistence in the periphery of the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative. About 50 of us mobilized to the Friday demonstration in Bil'in against the separation fence and occupation. Our Samba drumming circle added its flavor to the march from the center of the village to the region of the separation fence.
When we arrived there we turned to a less guarded section of the rote and few of us even succeeded to reach the electronic fence before repelled by tear gas.
After a long struggle the state prosecution admitted on Monday that the murder of Basem was criminal and part of state force breaking regulations of dispersing demonstrations.
Bil'in demonstration 24.4.2009 - more videos
Bil'in Friday 1-5-09 - link to video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX2Hx13c4sg
Friday 1.5.2009 Ni'ilin video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=719oYWbRtlo