School’s Out – Part 2

by startle10

This morning – before breakfast, I might add – a group of us headed down to Bab a-Zawyia to show solidarity with the children and teachers of Qordoba school, who were planning a fourth day of peaceful protest against increasingly oppressive security measures at checkpoint 56.

I had dared to hope that all the media attention this has been getting might result in the Israeli military softening their stance.

Evidently not, then. There are usually two Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint. Today there were closer to 30; selfless, brave young men and women heroically defending the state of Israel from a baying mob of seven year olds – and with nothing to protect them but their machine guns.

Most of these soldiers were on the Palestinian side, which is where the school was planning to hold its demonstration and have morning lessons. Beth and I were told we would be arrested simply for trying to pass through the checkpoint to join them.

So we passed through the checkpoint to join them. I’m getting well versed at my ‘I know my rights’ lecture. The part of Shuhada street where the school have been demonstrating had been completely cleared by the military, the children and their teachers were pushed back and dispersed. A number of seriously discontented Palestinian adults remained. Then after a while this happened:

(And yes, that’s me you can hear at the end helpfully telling a man he needs to breathe. I’m a qualified nurse, you see. I know about these things.)

It was a completely insane morning, one of many examples of the occupying forces using absurdly disproportionate tactics to stifle legitimate protest. I am absolutely convinced that if they had simply taken a step back and let the protest happen, it would have remained peaceful – as it has done the previous days. Let’s remind ourselves who the enemy were:

Crazy world. I still haven’t had breakfast. We’ll be writing an official report about this, with details of arrests and more images and video. I’ll post it here when it’s done.

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