Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nonviolent Demonstrators Met with Force

I found this video especially compelling, as a vehicle for demonstrating what sumud, persistent Palestinian nonviolent resistance, is all about.  This type of nonviolent direct action goes on every single day in Palestine, but it rarely gets reported.  All we hear about from the MSM (mainstream media) is about stone throwers and what is the latest polis-speak from the pariahs for the U.S. and Israeli governments.  This is the resistance that will slowly show the world the extreme force and repression used against those who argue for the human rights of Palestinians to be recognized.  


A cross-post from Joseph Dana:


More video from Al Walaja and the direct nonviolent action that the village is creating in order to stop the construction of the wall through their farmlands. This is what direct nonviolent action looks like in Palestine. This video was taken on 27 April 2010 by Activestills photographers.






Below is a report from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee:


Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators managed to stop the construction of the Wall in the village of alWalaja, south of Jerusalem for the second time this week. If completed, the path of the Wall in the area will surround the village completely, isolating it from all its lands, the cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem and essentially the rest of the world.


Demonstrators managed to block the bulldozers in the early morning, and even climb and take over one of the machines. A Border Police force at the scene arrested on of the demonstrators – 15 year old Nabil Hajajla – who was beaten and pepper-sprayed. Following Hajajla’s arrest, Border Police officers managed to drag the demonstrators away from the bulldosers and construction was resumed.


Al-Walaja is an agrarian village of about 2,000 people, located south of Jerusalem and West of Bethlehem. Following the 1967 Occupation of the West Bank and the redrawing of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, roughly half the village was annexed by Israel and included in the Jerusalem municipal area. The village’s residents, however did not receive Israeli residency or citizenship, and are considered illegal in their own homes.


Once completed, the path of the Wall is designed to encircle the village’s built-up area entirely, separating the residents from both Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and almost all their lands – roughly 5,000 dunams. Previously, Israeli authorities have already confiscated approximately half of the village’s lands for the building of the Har Gilo and Gilo settlements, and closed off areas to the south and west of it. The town’s inhabitants have also experienced the cutting down of fruit orchards and house demolition due to the absence of building permits in Area C.


According to a military confiscation order handed to the villagers, the path of the Wall will stretch over 4890 meters between Beit Jala and alWallaja, affecting 35 families, whose homes may be slated for demolition.


Beit Jala is a predominantly Christian town located 10 km south of Jerusalem, on the western side of the Hebron road, opposite Bethlehem. Once completed, he Wall will Isolate 3,200 Dunams of the town’s lands, including almost 3,000 Dunams of olive groves and the only recreational forest in the area, the Cremisan monastery and the Cremisan Cellars winery.

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