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(en) Israel, the various struggles for roof over the head cross national borders

Date Wed, 25 Jul 2007 15:05:54 +0300

As the anarchist against the wall (AATW) get more credit as serious activists, we are both invited to (and on our own initiative) join other struggles. Among the struggles within the Israeli border, there are lately four main struggles we were invited to participate. There is the gentrification project in the old Palestinian neighborhood of Jafa (now annexed as the southern district of Tel Aviv). About 500 Israeli citizens Palestinian families were issued court order of demolition (of the whole or part of their homes) - to clear the area for gentrification by the rich (mostly Jews from Tel Aviv). By few direct actions AATW people were involved some demolitions were already prevented for a while.
Following that, in connection with the Jafa struggle, we were invited to participate in the struggle of 30 families of the Cfar Shalem who were issued the eviction order to make space to building project. (This is the old Salame village area immigrant Jews were placed in after the original Palestinian inhabitants were transfered out in the 1948 war.)

A third struggle is that of the Palestinian bedwins of the Negev - the south part of Israel. These are the indigenous semi nomad Palestinian dwellers of the arid lands in the region Beer Sheva city is located. Many of the original inhabitants were driven away to Egypt (Sinai) and Jordan at the 1948-1952 years at the beginning of Israel. Some were forced to relocate within that region. All the years, the Israeli state made efforts to confiscate their land used for marginal agriculture and villages, and concentrate them into few new towns.
The last wave of suppression involve the demolition of more than 100 houses with court orders for the destruction of whole villages. Lately, as part of the struggle they and their Jewish supporters invited AATW activists to join them. A protest tent camp was built lately in Jerusalem - near the Parliament.

And the fourth, a bit different project is that of the homeless tent compound in the center of Jerusalem. They are the present tip of the iceberg of some tens of thousands of people who lost their homes due to the neoliberal policy of the Israeli state who privatized the public housing projects and refuse responsibility to the hosing problems of the very needy. The tent camp is organized by veteran social struggle activists with long time contacts with the out of parliament left and with the antiauthoritarian left. We were naturally invited to join them. Members of ours spent there days and nights. The struggle against homelessness in general and against the eviction of the camp in particular is on the agenda.

Yesterday evening, we had a joint demonstration in Jerusalem of the three struggles: the homeless camp (which initiated this demo), The Cfar Shalem people who will soon be homeless too, and the bedwin activists. About 300 participated in the demonstration. We marched about an hour in the two main streets of center of Jerusalem towards the prime minister official house. The AATW drummers circle and team of clowns made the march livelier. The speeches carried by the activists of the three struggles stressed the joining of hands of Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinians. Afterwards we marched to the homeless camp in the center of city and socialized there before dispersing.
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