This week joint struggle was focused on the new wave of the High school seniors refusniks. Both in Tel Aviv demo, the various activities connected with the arrests of the first two - Efi and Or, and in the Friday joint demonstrations at Bil'in, Ni'ilin, and Ma'asara. During the week the focus was on joining the olive picking struggles of the Saffa villagers, and the staying at nights in Bil'in - to help in the confrontation with Israel state forces persecuting the village activists who participate in the struggle against the separation fence. This week, the spectrum of struggles included also usual the activities against the transfer in East Jerusalem and the Israeli Bedouins of the south, and the struggles supporting the Guest workers and resisting the transfer of their children.
Every day 17-21.10.09 there was a notice in our list: please sign up for Bil'in tonight.
There is a car leaving Haifa Thursday (21.10.09) late evening/night to Bil'in. We have 2-3 places available in the car, and we are more than willing to pick someone(s) up from Tel Aviv.
"About 40 Israelis and a similar number of internationals joined the weekly Palestinian demonstration against the wall and occupation in Bil'in. Prominent among the participants were the "shministim" (Israeli refuseniks, who had two of their members put in jail today), and retired PA workers, who led the demonstration with their original slogans and chanting. Demonstrators carried broken cardboard guns as a sign of the nonviolent struggle, while the shabab kept apart along the fence parallel to the route, throwing stones as a sign that their lives under occupation suck big time. One demonstrator brought a tennis racket to return the army's gas grenades. The racket proved less than useful, but some unexploded grenades were manually thrown back to the soldiers, who could share in the suffering of the Hashmonaim settlers, and smell some whiffs of gas. Some demonstrators made a special effort to cross the fence gate and place a Palestinian flag on the soldiers' side of the fence, and then an even more special effort to retrieve the flag in a cloud of gas - a success that marked the end of the demo. As usual, there was enough gas to bring some demonstrators down, panting and crying for a few minutes. Sound bombs also featured after a long pause in their use. When the demonstrators were on their way back, a French woman was hit directly by a gas grenade, and evacuated to a hospital for treatment."
This Friday 23-10-09 in Bil'in - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI9bZLeLoc0
In the village of Ma'asara some 70 Palestinians, Israelis and internationals demonstrated this Friday against the Apartheid Wall, commemorating three years of struggle in the village and 40 days since the death of Popular Committee member Qaher Ala-Din.
Demonstrators marched from the village towards their lands, and as usual were stopped by occupation forces, which placed barbed wire on the village's main road. Speeches were carried in Arabic, English, French and Hebrew, amongst other things reminding the soldiers the acceptance of the Goldstone report by the UNHRC and of the option they have to refuse their commanding officers, like the young Shministim who were sent to prison the day before.
After the speeches, and while most demonstrators were chanting slogans or beating drums, several village children tried to pull away the fence, but were stopped by the angry soldiers. Eventually the demonstration ended, with no injuries or arrests.
Ni'lin's weekly protest against the wall was held in solidarity with the Israeli youths who have signed the "Seniors Letter". This week the military has begun to draft them into imprisonment for their refusal to serve in an occupation force. The protesters, Palestinian and Israeli, with a larger than usual group of internationals, marched to the wall, chanting slogans against the occupation and for refusal. Some of the village youths threw stones and paint bottles at the soldiers and jeeps patrolling the fence. Soldiers fired tear gas grenades and plastic-coated steel bullets at protesters. 10 were injured, one moderately, who was evacuated to Hospital in Ramalla. 8 of them were hit by bullets, and 2 were struck with aluminum tear gas canisters that were fired directly at them.
The plastic-coated bullets that are increasingly used in Ni'lin are round and consist of a metal core the size and shape of a marble, surrounded by a thin (less than 1mm) layer of plastic. They are fired 16 at a time, from a launching cup attached to the barrel. The bullets fly and spread out in a sort of cone shape, thus rendering this weapon extremely inaccurate, and therefore even more dangerous. During one of their incursions over the wall, a soldier fired two live rounds, apparently in the air. The soldiers also used stun grenades and the smelly water canon.
The protest ended at around 5 pm, and demonstrators dispersed home. Some of those present spent a few moments contemplating the terrible suffering experienced by the settlers of Hashmonaim. As reported in this week's Haaretz, for those poor souls who built their enormous villas on Ni'lin's land, every Friday is an ordeal, as tear gas fired by soldiers drifts over the valley, into their homes, and the sound of army weapons disrupts their precious Friday afternoon naps.
Friday 23.10.09 Ni'ilin video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOS84cD5a4k
Efi Brenner and Or Ben-David from "The senior letter 2009-2010" is going to be
jailed in Thursday because they are refusing to enlist the army.
A march will come out from Dizingof square, this Wednesday (21.10) at 5:30PM.
The March will end at Magen David square.
Come to show your support with the conscience objectors and your resistance
People look like flowers at last youth demonstrate 21.10.09 in support of the high school seniors refusnics http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/10/22/18626365.php
Efi Brenner*, first Objector from New Refusal Letter in Prison
- Please distribute widely -
First prison term for Efi Brenner, the first among the signatories of the 2009-2010 Shministim (high school seniors) refusal letter to be sent to military prison. Full information and recommended action follow.
A new collective declaration of refusal by Israeli youths, the 2009-2010 high school seniors letter, went public last week. Today (22 Oct.), two of its signatories, Efi Brenner and Or Ben-David, came to the military induction base in Tel-Hashomer and there refused to enlist. Efi was indeed sent to prison, while Or has not yet been sentenced (she was told that the military prison for women was full), and will have to return to the induction base tomorrow, probably spend the weekend there and be sent to prison on Sunday. We will run a separate update on her case once she is in prison.
Efi Brenner, 18, from Rishon Le Zion (a suburb of Tel-Aviv), is a familiar figure among young anti-Occupation and animal rights activists in Israel. He was sentenced today to his first prison term of ten days (more terms in prison are likely to follow), which he serves in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit. Following the media exposure that the Seniors’ Letter has received after it was made public, Efi was kicked out of home by his father, and spent the last days before imprisonment at a friend’s house. In prison he has already been transferred to the isolation ward for refusing to obey the military dressing code. In addition, the prison authorities decided (against all known regulations) not to allow him to take books with him into prison.
Efi has prepared the following statement upon entering prison:
I object to oppression, whether it is committed by a hierarchical organization, such as the military is, or whether it is committed by the human species against animals. The Israeli government and military conduct a policy of occupation and oppression against the Palestinian people since 1948. It began with the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in 1948, which continues to this day, and continued with the imposition of an oppressive military rule on Palestinians, with the restriction of the freedom of movement of all people, with roads for Israelis only, with administrative detentions, house demolitions, land thefts, etc. We must act in peaceful ways and refuse to take part in the crimes committed by the military. That is our true duty. All the things mentioned above stand against the basic values of freedom and justice in which I believe and for which I struggle. I therefore refuse to enlist to the Israeli military and indeed to any military force of any kind.
Efi Brenner is due to be released from prison on 30 October, but is likely to be imprisoned again soon afterwards. His address in prison is:
* Antiauthoritarian Anticapitalist involved with the AAtW
18.10.09 A car load from Tel Aviv joined some farmers from Saffa and several PSP activists in the lands of Saffa today. We picked olives without trouble with the army patrolling up near the settlement. After about two hours of that the army showed up and pushed us out. They said that they would allow the palestinians to remain but they chose to return with the rest of us.
More work in planned for later in the week if you can come on Tuesday please let me know.
Olive Harvesting at Saffa, Palestine, Usual Military Harassment
there are still more olives to be picked and army and settlers to deal with in Saffa. if you can come on Thursday please get in touch with me.
The olive picking today 22.10.09 went a little better but people are still needed for more olive picking next week.
After Harassment on Tuesday, Farmers, Activists Successfully Harvest in Saffa
Posted on October 23rd, 2009.
"...The Abu Jabber and Hamad Soleiby families have not been allowed to work freely on their land without either Israeli settler attacks and/or Israeli military intervention, since March of this year. PSP, along with Israeli activists, have had an on-going campaign that has lasted over 5 months, accompanying the farmers to their land which lies in a valley in the Saffa area of Beit Ommar, just below the extreme right-wing Israeli settlement, Bat ‘Ayn. With the beginning of the national olive harvest, the Soleiby brothers have asked for support from solidarity activists in accessing their land freely and without fear of settler attack.
On Tuesday, after the group had managed to pick olives for about half an hour, Israeli civilian police stationed in the nearby settlement Kfar Etzion, arrived and told the group that the Israelis and internationals would have to leave. They also attempted to intimidate the group by demanding to see all of the participants’ ID cards (including the farmers and Palestinian activists), copying down their identification information. After a short deliberation, the entire group decided to leave; the Palestinian farmers fearing that, like other times in the recent past, once the solidarity activists were out of sight the police would leave and settlers would be allowed to attack them.
On Thursday, October 22, a larger group of approximately 25 international and Israeli solidarity activists, including volunteers from the YMCA, and a large representation of local media, accompanied the farmers again to their land. Though Israeli soldiers confronted the group early in the day, they were allowed to pick for over 2 hours without incident, demonstrating the effectiveness of the accompaniment program, when combined with pressure from local farmers to access their land freely as they choose. The organizations involved, particularly PSP, will continue the program in Saffa throughout the fall and winter, when they will replant the hundreds of trees destroyed by settlers over the last 6 months.
Few actions of anti expulsion of children of Guest workers born in Israel were carried during the month with divergent participants.