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(en) Palestine-Israel, Bil'in, The joint Friday action theme was direct action and Id Al Fiter holyday

Date Fri, 04 Nov 2005 20:17:14 +0200


The Friday joint demonstration turned tradition for the last nine months,
was characterized this Friday by a direct action against the fence followed
by mixed families and activist celebration of the Id Al Fiter holiday in
front of the soldiers "protecting" the separation fence in building.
The activity started early in the morning, and when the preparations were
finished we traveled to the route in which the separation fence is built
that pass thorough uprooted groves of olive trees robed from the village people.
At the beginning, participated in it about 25 Israelis (from the Anarchists
Against The Wall initiative and the coalition against the fence), 10
international activists of the ISM, and 15 activists from the village.

When we arrived within few meters of the route of the fence, there
were already present a dozen or two of soldiers, but they were not
too focused... Before they could organize, about 20 activist (from
the three components of the demo) chained themselves to the metal
structure of the fence using metal sleeves to prevent forced unlocking
them. How pity, because of a technical problem, the soldiers succeeded
to pull the chained people out after few minutes, though not before
the media people photographed that. Three of the unchained Israelis
were arrested.

Few minutes later, the soldiers pushed all the activists present
to a virtual line 50 meters from the route of the fence - were they
block the last few weeks the Friday demos since they were forced
to legalize them.

The second part of the Friday action started when lot of children
(including toddlers) and young teens accompanied with 20 mothers or
late sleeper fathers arrived. According to the mood of the holiday,
the children and kids received lot of toys with which they started
to play in front of the line of the soldiers. To make the children
happier, a portable slide was brought for their fun - put just few
meters from the line of the soldiers. The adults had to be satisfied
with the holiday cookies distributed to all....

(Such playing in front of the soldiers may counter the fear aroused
in them during the last few nights invasions of the army into the
village and their homes to arrest so called Fridays stone throwers
youngsters - nearly 20 of them were taken to the Ofer concentration
camp).

During the morning, we were joined by late sleeper villagers and
Israeli activists who did not know the start of the demo was changed
from noon to early morning. When the people present reached its pick
we were about 150 of whom about 40 Israelis, 15 international activists
of the ISM and 100 Bil'in villagers.

Because of the specialty of the day activity - direct action and
holiday celebration which was leaked to the media, many of its reporters
were present - including a mobile TV transmitter for live morning program
of the Aljazeera ...
The Israeli public radio channel reported on the demo along the day
and in the afternoon. They also said the activists chained themselves
and that a reporter of Aljazeera TV was hit by soldiers and detained for
a while.

Like in the previous legalized Friday demos, after a long while,
part of the participants got restless, and started getting out of the
road to the olive orchards on its sides through them people can
(and often did) go around the soldiers block towards the fence route
again. The detention of few people - who were released after a while
did not deter us and we did arrived to the fence route, and three
comrades who improved the chaining equipment succeeded to chain
themselves again. This time in spite of painful pulling of arms of
the chained ones, two of them stayed chained after the soldiers
stopped their failed efforts.

The soldiers succeeded to force all but the two chained ones
back to the road with the main body of the demo... and the two
chained remained with six reporters taking pictures of them from
every possible angel. The frustrated commander was herd appointing
two of his force to keep guarding the two chained and to arrest
them the minute they unchained themselves.

In spite the efforts of the small unit to isolate the two chained,
few of us succeeded to visit them from time to time to give them moral
support, while the demo-celebration continued.

And so it continued till noon when it started raining.
we persisted another half an hour and than the demonstration start
to disperse. In order to save the chained comrades from the whether
and the army, a small group of people went "visiting" them, and while
confronting with their guards, enabled them to unchain themselves and
escape being arrested. While leaving the place the comrades heard
the commander threatening the failed guards with a punishment.

In contradiction to the long chain of Fridays, today, the Israeli
state forces failed to make problems to the Israelis arriving to
the Friday demo in Bil'in.
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