First Hand: Beaten Detained Deported From Israel
Pete Lowney - Is an ISM Volunteer From
Hello everyone, I just want to let you know Ive made it home safe and sound. Some of you know that Giordano and I were arrested shortly after the demonstration at Abu Dis on the 27th of august. We were a few blocks from the hostel when I was confronted by the police.
Rumor was that we were followed from the demo but I think it was just because I was carrying a 3x5 Palestinian flag over my shoulder. I refused to be taken away and the police went ballistic with violence.
Fortunately no one was seriously hurt. there are some fotos of the arrest on Indy media Italy. Throughout the ordeal I was beaten with batons, kicked and punched for declining to comply with the police who I consider to have no legitimate authority over occupied lands and people. Giordano and I shared a cell next to a shebob (young Palestinian boy) from Jenin who hooked us up with smokes.
We were tried the next night and ordered released on 1100 nis bail by the judge after Giordano's excellent video, the lawyers great work, and a court room full of support proved the police claims against us to be false.
In the morning we were taken to the court and while the lawyer was arranging the bail we were kidnapped by the border police who took us to the department of the Interior where our visas were cancelled with a pen.
One official who bragged about killing 30-40 people in Lebanon told me that I was going to be deported because I was "heating the atmosphere of the people" He also said he hadn't been lucky enough to have killed any children during Israels occupation of Lebanon.
I was beaten and strangled by many border police for declining to be photographed and later I filed a "torture during interrogation" complaint with the US embassy. Giordano and I were split up and he went to one jail and I to a detention camp 2km from Gaza.
I could hear shelling and helicopters during the 4 day long incursion into northern Gaza. I appealed to a Ministry of Interior judge for release on bail but was told I was "not welcome in Israel anymore" and that she did not believe I would not carry the flag anymore.
Smart woman, they dragged me out of her court room and back to my isolation cell. I was not allowed to use my phone and I was kept away from the rest of the prisoners for most of the first week.
Later I made friends with the many good and innocent people who's lives have been destroyed by the state of Israel. Many of the police I met were thugs, murderers, or chronic and compulsive liars. With 400 dollars from the legal committee and my last 300 dollars we appealed the deportation order and got a high court judge to hold the deportation. I learned that Giordano had won bail but been deported and that my chances of not being deported were from none to impossible.
We fought for bail and were denied, I didn't realize until after a week that police had been hurt by disgruntled onlookers. Because they accused me of hospitalizing three officers in court I thought they were lying outright. I also learned from Lena that friends had almost been killed by crazy cops firing into the crowd.
With my time I composed an article called "Formal Consensus for Direct Action Affinity Groups, a breath of new life in a dying world." I got sick after 13 days of fasting without any food, and needed medical attention, so the lawyer dropped the appeal and I was deported on Tuesday the 14th of September from the Tzhor detention center to New York city via Barcelona and Madrid.
The support of everyone who stood by us made a world of difference. Grateful thanks to Lena, Manolo and Indy Media Italy, Neil, Sara, Hisham, Netta, Sharon and everyone who witnessed and photographed our arrests and vigil ed out side of the Jail and court and rallied support for us. Thank you all.
P.S. When I arrived at my fathers house there was a photo of a group of Palestinians climbing the wall at Abu Dis from the local paper taped up with our family photos. "I knew that was you" my dad said.