Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Israeli group 'Anarchists Against the Wall' has held continued protests against the 'Apartheid Fence' being built by the Israeli government to seal off Palestinian areas of the West Bank from Israel proper, or at least those areas that the Israeli government feels "is" Israel proper. What follows is the latest communique from this group, subject to the usual "Molly editing" for proper English. The original is at the A-Infos site at .
"The weekend activity of the Anarchists Against the W#all (AAtW) started with the monthly critical mass against occupation. We started a new tradition of such critical masses on the last Thursday of the month. (The activists of the usual "green" critical mass of bicycle drivers protested our use of the label "critical mass" for the "celebration" of 40 years of occupation. After they were rebuffed, however, they stopped complaining). About 30 riders with the dram orchestra participating toured the main streets of the centre of Tel Aviv. The police pressured the riders to let traffic go on one of the two lanes of the main street, but when the riders took to narrower streets the police just let them ride freely until they ended the tour.
On Friday our activists only participated in three demonstrations- Bilin, 443 apartheid highway and Bethlehem- as that of Um Salmuna was cancelled. In Bilin the Friday demonstration started at5 noon as usual- Palestinians, internationals and AAtW activists. For a bit of a change the internationals who participated in it included a large Italian delegation. At the confrontation site- at the foot of a hill at the gate in the fence to the west side, the state forces briefly tolerated the crossing of people to the other side of the line marking the forbidden zone for the Friday demonstrations. After awhile they showered us with canisters of tear gas. This time they adopted a new strategy, and they succeeded in forcing us back to the built-up area of the village.
On Friday noon there was also a demonstration on the 443 apartheid highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It crosses through the lands of Beit Sira, Saffa, Beit Liqiya, Kharbatha al-Misbah, Beit Ur al-Tahata, Beit Ur al-Foqqa and al-Tirra west to Ramallah. Approximately 40,000 Israeli citizens travel on it on a daily basis, but the villagers on whose lands it was built are not allowed to use it.
The usual activists of neighbouring villages, with the internationals and the Israelis of the AAtW marched as usual from Kharbatha al-Misbah towards the nearby highway. This time, however, they chose a new route not tried before. They started to climb on the step margin of the highway. It took the Israeli state forces in surprise, but they7 quickly reorganized and blocked the way for the demonstrators to approach the fence that was already built there on two sides of the highway.
After a prolonged period the people started to return to the village while the state forces followed them, waiting for the first stone to be thrown to start their usual show of power. And indeed, they entered the village with two armoured cars, using tear gas. After the show they left the village. At their exit they encountered 10 activists of the AAtW sitting with two Palestinians waiting for transportation. The state cars stopped there for a moment, and as a "present" they threw a tear gas grenade on the sitting comrades.
In the south there was a demonstration in Bethlehem itself. Lots of local people and activists from the region, with internationals and AAtW Israelis, marched towards a small fortress blocking the road towards Jerusalem. There was sporadic stone throwing at the structure- with no response. After about 20 minutes the people returned to the city."
To follow the efforts of the Israeli anarchists check out their website at Anarchists Against the Wall.

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