Friday, June 12, 2009
The struggle in Bil'lin is essentially about saving their olive trees and their livelihoods from the Wall.
Israeli settlements are usually on top of hills, leaving the Palestinians below to receive all their waste runoff.
Why did we put ourselves at risk? For Iyad's daughter. And my unborn son. All of them.
Says it all.
We'll be needing this in just a bit.
Follow the rest of the protest down below...
Speaking to the media before the march begins.
This guy lead lots of chants, including a bunch in English for us foreigners to join in.
Bystanders, just like during any 4th of July parade.
I was carrying this poster and about halfway through the march this boy said, "Give me!" So I did.
The version of Basem's poster is mounted on a metal shield, a couple of which were used up front.
Having a helmet, flak jacket and gas mask seemed like a good idea as we neared the fence.
Well, here we are.
Locked and loaded.
About 10 minutes after that last shot, safely away after several volleys of gas cannisters. My neck stung almost as much as my eyes thanks to the sweat. Breathing was awful, too.
After many of us pulled back.
A group gathered on our right flank.
Soldiers lobbed these hand-thrown cannisters at them.
Further along, kids started using slings against Goliath.
Ducking as what I call "Bouncing Betties" come close. I'll have more to say about these and my encounters later.
I'm not sure if this guy was hit, or just overcome by the gas.
So add 2 more to the 1300+ injured in Bil'in alone during 4 years of the nonviolence campaign.
One of Palestine's Gandhis: Abedallah.
As we retreat back to the village.
Moheeb points out a poster he designed. More on him and Basem later.
Fungus works his magic even after a clash.
We still smile.
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these pics are heartbreaking and moving. now come home. i know i'm selfish for saying it.
Posted by: e | Jun 12, 2009 12:12:24 PM
I wonder if one of the great "There are two kinds of people" classifications should include "those who have ever been tear-gassed and those who have not."
maybe a third for "those who have tear-gassed others...."
Posted by: Xan | Jun 12, 2009 12:26:45 PM
Selfish, nah, you're worried about him, and at least would not like him to get tear gassed anymore.
Posted by: Buckeye ... | Jun 12, 2009 3:31:16 PM
How Could I Thank You ?? Really You are kind Of people and we need people like you to send the real message .. to send the reality of the issue ... to show all the world what israeli people doing in palestine .... how they still kill our childs .. how they burn our land
maher .. Moonbootica`s Friend
Posted by: maher | Jun 12, 2009 3:39:48 PM
Thanks for posting these. Very moving. Pictures really do tell the story, don't they?
I feel your pain. I was tear gassed once by a Michigan Militia freak when I was in college. There was a group of us partying, and this nutjob lobbed tear gas into the apartment.
Needless to say, it broke the party up.
And really, what we were doing was so unworthy compared to what you are doing.
Warm thoughts your way. :)
Posted by: Vicki Stein | Jun 12, 2009 3:45:07 PM
As my Great Uncle Quincy (recruited into the OSS straight out of Yale and thence into "foreign service" for 30+ years after the War) remarked:
"In every conflict, great or small, no matter how many parties are part of that conflict, not a one of them ever thinks of themselves as 'the bad guys'. Knowing this one fact can often be to your very great advantage!"
Posted by: Chris Tucker | Jun 12, 2009 3:49:20 PM
Great reportage, NTodd. It'll be interesting to read the rest.
Posted by: P. Drano | Jun 12, 2009 5:12:51 PM