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Freedom Summer Palestine 2004 Planning


Freedom Summer Palestine 2004 Planning

Preparatory work for Freedom Summer in Palestine (June 25- August 19) is in high gear, with committees throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip working on planning local and national actions. Over the past few days, Freedom Summer plans have been highlighted in all major Palestinian newspapers, and at a national conference in Biddu on resisting the Wall. We encourage you to join us for Freedom Summer, to help make Palestinian communities' Freedom Summer plans a reality.

Below is a summary of some of the major plans to date. More detailed plans will be finalized prior to June 25.

I. OVERVIEW OF FREEDOM SUMMER

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) invites you to join the Palestinian people for Freedom Summer Palestine 2004 – a 56 day campaign (one day for every year of displacement and dispossession) against occupation. During the campaign Palestinians will mobilize with the participation of their international supporters to draw the attention of the world to the true nature of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to demonstrate that the Palestinian struggle is for justice, dignity, human rights and freedom.

Freedom Summer provides an opportunity to support the Palestinian people in their mobilization for justice, rights and freedom. Like the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, India's National Liberation Movement and the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, Freedom Summer will utilize nonviolent direct action strategies and tactics to overcome oppression.

II. NATIONAL ACTIONS

Friday June 25: FREEDOM SUMMER PALESTINE 2004 BEGINS: Press conference and launching of freedom messages

Saturday June 26: WALL ACTION: Palestinians, old and young will simultaneously convergence at different points of the Wall, in actions designed to highlight to their oppressors and to the world the reality of their imprisonment.

Sunday, July 4: PRISONERS ACTION: Marches from various locations to military bases to demand release of political prisoners. In regions where there is no nearby military base, marches will head towards local offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Saturday, July 10: WOMEN'S ACTION: Women's groups will coordinate women's action to confront and challenge an aspect of the occupation through the mobilization of the females in Palestine.

Saturday, July 17: CHECKPOINT ACTION: Simultaneous demonstrations against checkpoints and removal of roadblocks in all regions.

Friday, July 23: JERUSALEM ACTION : We will organize convoys of busses from West Bank cities to Jerusalem for Friday prayer. Churches will be asked to organize Christian prayers on this day also.

Friday, July 30: FREEDOM WALK BEGINS: A three week march along the Wall's path from Jenin to Jerusalem.

III. REGIONAL ACTIONS

Biddu and Northwestern Jerusalem • On-going resistance to Wall construction

Budrus and Western Ramallah • On-going resistance to wall construction • Support to children's summer camps

Jayyous • With children's summer camps, a children's march focusing on prisoners and martyrs from Jayyous • Marches protesting the Wall • A women's march in support of prisoners, including delivering letters to international organizations regarding the fate of Palestinian prisoners • A photo exhibition about the Wall

Jenin • Taking down parts of the Wall, especially wall gates that remain locked denying farmers' access to their land, • Children in Jenin refugee camp will symbolically demand freedom by flying kites • Art work by children about their lives under occupation. The art work will eventually be used in exhibitions • Visits by women's groups to the families of female prisoners

Nablus • The overall theme of Nablus activities will be "Open Nablus" • National day for solidarity with the people of Nablus (July 27) • Camping on Palestinian land that has been seized by Israel in the Nablus area • Opening roadblocks throughout the Nablus area • Planting trees in areas of the city of Nablus that have been razed by the Israeli military

Tulkarem • Taking down parts of the Wall, especially wall gates that remain locked and prevent farmer's access to their land, • Roadblock removal, particularly in the Wady Al Shair region (area around Anabta), • With children's summer camps, children's artwork and march depicting impacts of the Wall on children, and • On-going support to women's groups working against various aspects of the occupation.

Qalqilya • Establishing a tent camp and maintaining a long-term presence to symbolize Qalqilya's status as a prison, • Breaking off pieces of the Wall as was done with the Berlin Wall, • Planting seedlings next to the fence, and • Ongoing support to Qalqilya's southern villages in their resistance against the Wall.

IV. THE FREEDOM WALK

Palestinians, internationals and Israelis will march along the path of the Apartheid Wall, beginning in the Jenin area and through cities, towns and villages affected by the wall, all the way to Jerusalem. We will organize with villages that we will be passing through, to coordinate receiving the marchers and joining the walk. Special accommodations will be organized for the villages where we hope to spend the night. The walk will be used to highlight the problems the wall is creating for Palestinians communities. We plan to generally walk 10-12 kilometers per day (6.2 – 7.5 miles per day). Occasionally, we expect to cover some of the Wall route by car or bus. As we hope to walk close to the wall, we expect that much of the march will be on rocky terrain and through fields, with less time spent walking along paved roads.

Aside from our regular challenges of dealing with the Israeli military, we also are developing plans to deal with the logistical challenges of hundreds and perhaps more than a thousand people marching together through the West Bank.

To help deal with the summer heat and sun, we expect to walk in the morning and the afternoon/evening, with a break during the middle of the day, and regular breaks as we walk. Backpacks will be loaded onto a truck in the morning and will meet us at the end of the day.

We expect to be sleeping in schools en route. Participants should bring a sleeping pad or mat, and a very lightweight sleeping bag or sleeping sheet.

We will not have large quantities of water, nor will we typically have showers available, but we are working on plans to allow marchers to wash comfortably.

Participants should have a small day pack for carrying essentials as we walk, and a larger backpack with clothes, etc., that will not be needed during the day.

Day bag packing list

Suggested packing:

1. Comfortable day bag 2. Oil free sunscreen (good for tear gas) 3. Bandana for tear gas 4. Basic first aid kit 5. 2 liters water bottles (can be found locally) 6. Sun hat 7. Sun glasses 8. Energy bars/chocolate bars 9. Head lamp/ flash light – in case we reach our destination late 10. Toilet paper 11. Small hand sanitizer 12. Mosquito repellent

To wear:

Light-weight long sleeve shirt and pants that will protect you from the sun and mosquitoes. It is also the culturally correct way to dress as we will be passing through villages and cities. Participants will be handwashing clothes, and there will be limited time for drying clothes in the sun. One option is to bring clothes (including underwear) made out of quick-dry materials like polyester so that they have time to dry overnight without being exposed to the sun. Cotton takes a long time to dry.

Bring comfortable hiking boots that you would have worn for at least 2 weeks before coming to make sure they fit you well. The terrain is rocky and ankle protection will be vital.

You can download the ISM brochure in English from the website and spread it to your lists: http://www.palsolidarity.org/ISM_Brochure-draft_2.pdf

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT Join the Palestinian struggle for freedom and human rights Freedom Summer Palestine June 25 - August 19, 2004 We need you to help make this campaign a success! Please join. For more information, see: www.palsolidarity.org

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