Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13th, International day against housing demolitions/evictions in East Jerusalem

Actions occurred all over the world today to mark the week before the first spat of evictions began in Sheikh Jarrah. I went to Al Quds to participate in the demonstration in downtown West Jerusalem, the march to Sheikh Jarrah, and the press conference that followed.

After arriving at the corner of King George st and Ben Yahuda St with many international and Israeli activists we erected a tent, passed out signs and banners, and fliered the most shopped area in West Jerusalem. About thirty minutes later, a group of Israeli Anarchists from Tel Aviv arrived. They had a whole group of percussion instruments and they put out a badass beat which attracted Israelis from around many places in the downtown area.

Of course, many reactions were not positive. While there are many crazy things that I heard Zionists argue today, some are worth mentioning:

"In the first three weeks of his presidency, Barack Hussein Obama gave $1 billion to Hamas"

"Israel has never broken a single international law"

"I am glad their houses are getting demolished cause they are terrorists." have you ever been there?... "No I dont need to".... so every single person of every single family there is a terrorist"..."yes"

We distributed many fliers both in Hebrew and in English and talked to dozens of individuals. Press also showed up and I was interviewed by Reuters about the incident. At a certain point, police showed up and began taking statements from a crazy somewhat violent critic of our action. The Police forced us to leave and after a while, we vacated the area.

Afterward, we marched from West Jerusalem to the Demascus gate and to Sheikh Jarra. (this was done without any permit, but we weren't hassled. We arrived at the Um Kamel tent to the sight of a huge score of people and media. Al Jazeera was there as was several other Arab language television news camera people. Speakers included members of popular committees in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, Maher Hannoun, and Liam from the International Solidarity Movement.

Unfortunately two houses were demolished today in East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and another neighborhood that I cant remember.

Silwan's demolition:
Chicago activists drop 88 banners in solidarity with Silwan:

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