Monday, July 10, 2006
The struggle continues in Israel and Palestine
“Anarchists Against the Wall” (AATW) is an Israeli group which has been supporting the popular Palestinian resistance to the Israeli “separation wall”.
This site does not contain and should not be understood as an official party line or a manifesto. The group has dedicated all its efforts to activities on the ground, and has left propaganda and the drawing of party lines to others. The actions which AATW been involved in are direct actions such as dismantling the wall/fence when possible and participation in Palestinian demonstrations. Much has been written by and about AATW, the links below are just a sample and should not necessarily be understood as an endorsement of the opinions represented there.
Anarchists Against the Wall first started working as a group at the beginnig of April of 2003, with the establishment of the Mas'ha peace camp against the wall. As construction of the wall was nearing, the village Mas’ha was facing the loss of 96% of their lands, which the wall left on the “Israeli” side.
A camp of two tents was set up on the village's lands that were to remain on the other side of the wall. For four months a constant presence of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals was kept. During this period the camp was a base for information dissemination and direct-democracy decision-making. A number of wall related direct actions were planned and prepared at the camp. On July 28, 2003 Palestinians, international and Israeli activists forced open a gate in the wall at the village of Anin (See Haaretz article)
Late in August of 2003, with the wall almost complete, the camp moved to the to-be-demolished yard of a house in Mas'ha. Following two days of mass arrests the yard was demolished and the camp had ended, but the spirit of resistance it symbolized did not die with it.
A few Months later, November 9, 2003 – the international day against the wall – We removed about 20 meters of the wall at another joint action at the village of Zbuba, near Jenin.
Once again, at December 26, 2003, we returned to Mas'ha to force open a gate in the wall; a gate that was supposed to provide easy access for people to their lands, but in fact was closed for the 2 months prior. As we shook the gate, soldiers on the other side of it opened fire on us. One of us was struck twice with live ammunition, and his evacuation to an ambulance through the gate was prevented. He nearly died of blood loss, and reached the hospital in critical situation.
A few days later, daily demonstrations in the Village of Budrus began, and our presence in them was constant. Through its persistence in community mobilization, struggle and nonviolence, the village of Budrus was able to achieve significant victories. The most celebrated one is that the path of the wall was almost completely pushed away from the village's lands, only through the villages struggle. Without bowing in front of the occupation; without petitioning to the Israeli courts. Another victory, maybe even more important, was that for a good part of year, almost every village, to which the construction of the wall reached, rose up against it. Hundreds were injured and 9, all Palestinians, were killed in those nonviolent demonstrations, but the people were not deterred and continue trying to stop the bulldozers together with Israeli and international activists.
Those who wish to support the efforts of “Anarchists Against the Wall” (AATW) and are in Palestine can get notices of upcoming demonstrations by subscribing to the email list Actleft on yahoo groups.
Thanks to the legal repression by the Israeli authorities donations for the legal defense fund are also urgently needed. AATW is faced with mounting legal expenses and is raising money to defend people who face indictments as a result of their political activities. There are currently over 40 indictments, a summery of a few of them can be found here. You can donate online by following the link below using PayPal, which is a secure and confidential tool.
In February 2006, Matan Cohen, a 17-year-old member of Anarchists Against The Wall, was shot with rubber bullets by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration in Beit Sira village after stones were thrown at security forces. Three soldiers and Border Police officers were injured by rocks thrown at them, and one police officer was taken to hospital. Cohen, whose left eye was injured, later told reporters, "My feeling is that the blood of Left-wing activists and the Palestinians is cheap."
Matan being arrested at a protest in Hebron in 2005
Official website: “Anarchists Against the Wall” (AATW)