[Sorry Sarah, mom and Sarah’s mom]
Today was a day of many firsts for me. I will upload pictures as soon as I am able, but it may not be until Sunday, because tomorrow our group will travel to Jenin.
What were the firsts for Adam?
- It was my first time in Bil’in (click here for the ISM’s page on Bil’in, which will probably have information about our day).
- It was my first demonstration.
- It was my first demonstration in Palestine.
- It was the first time I’d seen what a non-violent demonstration is like.
- It was the first time I saw Palestinian youth throw stones, against the will of much of the crowd.
- It was my first time seeing a non-violent demonstration become violent.
- It was my first time being tear gassed and shot at with shock bombs by the Israeli army.
- It was my first time running away, covering my face with my Buff (thank you BUFF!) and taking bites out of and eating an onion, because that helps to neutralize whatever the tear gas does.
It was my first time for a lot of things today. All of our group is back and safe, while there were two Palestinians who were injured with rubber bullets. It was a crazy day…pictures will come on Sunday afternoon.
The following is actually quoted from the ISM’s most recent post, describing the demonstration:
On the first anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that declared Israel’s Annexation Wall in the West Bank illegal, the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in has organized a nonviolent demonstration on Friday the 8th of July at 11:00 AM in Bil’in. Protesters will carry a large representation of the scales of Justice held by “Uncle Sam” with the world on one side and Israel outweighing it on the other. The demonstration will also hold Friday prayers in the path of the Wall which will isolate more than 60% of the lands of Bil’in, if completed. Friday’s demonstration will be attended by Palestinian Legislative Council representatives and ministers, Israeli Knesset members, representatives from the Palestinian National and Islamic parties, along with international and Israeli supporters.
Mohammed al Khatib, community leader and member of the Popular Committee in Bil’in explains, “One year ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the world’s highest legal body, ruled that Israel’s construction of a wall on Palestinian land violated international law and must be stopped. Today, Palestinians in villages like ours are struggling to implement this decision and stop construction using nonviolence, but the world has done little to support us.”
After Israeli courts refused appeals to prevent Wall construction, the people of Bil’in, along with Israelis and people from around the world, began peacefully protesting the confiscation of their land and have held more than 50 peaceful demonstrations since February 2005. The Israeli military regularly attacks the peaceful protests with teargas, clubs and rubber-coated steel bullets.