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(en) Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, a joint grand-demo.

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 28 Apr 2005 21:54:15 +0200 (CEST)

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In addition to the nearly daily demonstrations of the villagers of
Bil'in together with Israeli Anarchist Against The Wall, for the last
two months, a grand demonstration was initiated. The villagers comity
against the fence recruited enforcement from the neighboring villages
and the city Ramalla. The anarchists recruited the radical organization
of Israel under the umbrella of "the coalition against the fence".
After a week of preparations, we converged to the region Bil'in is part of
with busses and private cars few hundred activists from Jerusalem, Haifa
and Tel Aviv. We were prepared with various tactics to go around the blocks
the Israeli state would put on our way - as they usually do, but they did not.

We discovered later why they did not even tried in a symbolic way to
hinder our convergence to Bil'in.

We arrived to the region through the modern wide roads used by the
Israeli settlers, and crossed the unguarded debris blocking the traffic
to and from the much less convenient network of roads for use of the
Palestinians. We last part of the travel to Bil'in we did by cabs who
can maneuver in the narrow roads.

On arrival to the Bil'in village, we were warmly greeted and socialized
with people in the center of the village. On the pavement, the locals
organized an Exhibition: On its two sides were large letters that read
NO TO THE SEPARATION WALL. Between them there were collections of the
enemy ammunition: used tear gas canisters, remnants of shock grenades,
teargas grenades, and some "graphity written with rubber coated bullets
and other used ammunition.

After all the participants arrived, (and the media workers included
Al-Jazera, and the Israelis) we started the march towards the route of the fence
where the heavy machinery work on the lands confiscation from the Bil'in
village. On the route, the speaker of the village comity called the anarchists
and the internationals to relocate to the head of the march - which we did.

So we marched accompanied by the bit of a drum and slogans, many of
us in the shade of a huge Palestinian flag of 50X6 meters till about
one kilometer from the building site. Here started the confrontation.
The soldiers tried to block our way a chain of theirs with not so
gentle way, but still without batons or real vicious behavior.

About hundred of us broke the first line of the soldiers - mainly
going around them through the fields and among the olive trees.
The rest of the demonstrators were blocked more efficiently using
in addition to tear gas shots, for the first time, plastic bullets
(less lethal they say than the usual rubber coated metal bullets).

Our group - Palestinians, Israelis (mostly anarchists) Internationals,
and even dignitaries (Israeli Palestinian members of parliament
and members of the Palestinian parliament, was blocked about 50 meter from
the work site - still mainly by physical power only.

During this engagement, the "secret weapon" of the Israeli state
was exposed: prison riot suppression unit persons disguised as demonstrators
tried to provoke a violent clash with the Israeli army and police
to justify a harsh suppression of the demonstration... However, the
demonstration was highly organized, and they were immediately approached
by village activist to enforce the nonviolence program... This exposed
them to be outsider provocateurs. When reposed, they put their masks of
and arrested two Palestinians.

The group of the 100 or so demonstrators and the soldiers were
in a kind of non friendly draw. All the time the army succeeded to
prevent reinforcement to us from the main body of the demonstration,
but refraining from brutally dispersing us.

After more than an hour it was clear that we will not be able to
break the block and stop the work of the heavy machinery.
A negotiation started in order to get the release of the two arrested
Palestinians in return for our retreat to the one kilometer distance.

During the negotiations, two Israelis got themselves arrested
to be in solidarity with the two Palestinians.

At one point, a high officer promised that if we retreat, after 15
minutes the 4 arrested will be released. So we retreated not counting too
much on him keeping the promise.... And he did not.

A second wave of advance towards the building site failed due to
diminished energy of the demonstrators and an intensive use of
tear gas. So we regrouped to the one kilometer point. Bout 11 of
the demonstrators decided to increase the number of arrested in a solidarity
protest. They defied tear gas shots and reached the soldiers
standing near the work site... and failed. The army agreed to arrest
only two of them. Too many Israeli arrested is not good for public relations... So, after
3 hours from beginning of the demonstration we started the long way
to the village and than home.

Along the demonstration, and later - including the main news programs
of the Israeli radio and TV, the demonstration was reported - with
lot of video clips taken in the demo.

The media reported on 300 Israelis and 700 participants.
It also reported on the experiments done in the suppression of
the demo. They also gave a false explanation to justify the
failed provocation of the undercover agent provocateurs who
tried to incite by their stone throwing.

They gave the ridiculous lie that they had to throw stones
to keep them from being exposed.... (Which was of course
the opposite - throwing the stones when no real demonstrators
did it exposed them.

22:40 - last update: The 4 arrested Israelis were released.
the two Palestinians were detained in the Ofer military compound.
Israeli activist are now in the middle of formal complain in the
police station against the undercover agents provocateurs and
testifying about the bogus accusations against the two palestinians.

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