Activists Assist in Dismantling Roadblock
Tulkarem: Activists Assist Palestinians in Dismantling Roadblock
On Tuesday ten ISM activists assisted about 25 Palestinians in the removal of the Sahel military roadblock which had been blocking road access to homes and business in the village of Shweika for more than eight months.
The action was organised by the Union of Palestinian Women and the Tulkarem Municipality, which contributed two bulldozers .
For the Tulkarem ISM Activists the action was a statement of their unwavering support for the Palestinian people's struggle against the Occupation in the face of the murder of Rachel Corrie on Sunday and the Israeli Army's ongoing campaign of terror against the people of Occupied Palestine.
For further information contact: Charlotte:on 059 737 118 or 052 371 338
Rafah: Israeli Army Terrorises Mourners Attending Rachel Corrie's Memorial Yesterday in Rafah fifteen international activists (from the US, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Denmark and South Africa) of the International Solidarity Movement and their allies in the Christian Peacemakers' Team based in Hebron marched through the streets of Rafah to the site of where their fallen comrade, Rachel Corrie, was murdered by an Israeli Army bulldozer driver on Sunday.
Along the way they were joined by the citizens of Rafah so that by the time they arrived at the site of her murder the mourners numbered about two hundred.
A small monument was placed at the site where she fell, next to which mourners placed flowers among the wasteland of ruined buildings.
Although the Israeli Army of Occupation had been notified of the memorial service beforehand, a tank arrived 15 minutes into the ceremony and attempted to disrupt the mourners by blanketing them in a thick white smokescreen. In response, some of the activists and Palestinians placed flowers and posters of Rachel on the tank and one activist even managed to climb on top of it and lift the lid to drop one of the posters into it.
The mourners then marched to the barbed wire fenced that marks the boundary between the Occupied Gaza Strip and Egypt where they mounted the ISM banner and placed more flowers on the ground.
The tank was then joined by two others and three bulldozers. When the Rafah activists saw that one of the bulldozers was the same one that was used to murder Rachel several of them began to weep.
The tanks and bulldozers then began to drive around the crowd at high speed, forcing several people to jump out of their way to avoid being run over. As they did this they also flung sound grenades and tear gas canisters into the crowd but fortunately the tear gas dispersed harmlessly in the stiff wind.
The mourners refused to surrender to the intimidation and again laid their flowers and posters on the war machines, which left the area after a few minutes, leaving only the original tank. The mourners then sat on the ground to observe a minutes silence in remembrance of Rachel, which was followed by some speeches in which the ISM activists expressed their resolve not to give into Israel State Terrorism by abandoning the Gaza Strip and to remain in Rafah to continue Rachel's work in solidarity with the people of Occupied Palestine.
After the speeches the activists left the wasteland that is normally the exclusive reserve of the Israeli Army of Occupation. For further information contact: Tobias on 057 836 527 Tom on: 052 694 380
Messages of Support The ISM wishes to thank our many friends around the world who have helped us through this period of great grief with their heartfelt messages of support. Among the messages was the following poem by David Rovics of Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts which was sent to us today:
The Death of Rachel
When she sat down in the dirt
In front of your machine
A lovely woman dressed in red
You in military green
If you had met her in Jerusalem
You might have asked her on a date
But here you were in Gaza
Rolling towards the gate
As your foot
went to the floor
Did you recall her eyes
Did her gaze remind you
That you've become what you despise
As you rolled on towards this woman
And ignored all the shouts to stop
Did you feel a shred of doubt
As you watched her body drop
And as your Caterpillar tracks
Upon her body pressed
With sixty tons of deadly force
Crushed the bones within her chest
Could you feel the contours of her face
As you took her life away
Did you serve your country well
On that cool spring day
And when you went
back across the Green Line
Back to the open shore
Did you think that this was just another day
In a dirty war
Farewell Rachel. May your memory outlive us all.