Anti Discrimination Tournament Summary

The Green Brigade would like to thank all who tuned out at Glenconner Park, Garngad, on Saturday and contributed to what was a fantastic community event. For 6 years we have been hosting a football tournament which aims to challenge intolerances and bring together the Celtic community and various minority groups through football, food and banter. We are proud and humbled to see our small project blossom over the years, culminating in Saturday’s event which was definitely our biggest and best to date.

Special thanks must go to the select band that made Saturday possible and for their efforts, patience and efficiency in pulling it all together. On top of this, thanks to all others who devoted their day to the event: from spending hours dealing with another hugely successful food collection, to providing the barbeque and other refreshments; from manning the kids’ bouncy castle, to refereeing and overseeing matches amongst plenty of other things.

The tournament obviously isn’t possible without the participating teams so we must thank all 23 teams who accepted our invite and played in a manner befitting of the occasion. As always, there was varying standards of football on show with plenty of goals and a few tasty challenges! Most important of all was the diversity of the teams – scenes of skinny, wee, peely-wally Glasgow bhoys challenging man-mountain African counterparts captures perfectly the spirit and purpose behind the event!

Whilst other teams (most notably the Cavendish 7-1) may have been grabbing the plaudits, the ultimate winners led a more discreet path to the final. After a solid start with two opening wins the eventual champions then played out three goalless stalemates, just narrowly qualifying for the next stage. The late arrival of their talisman forward saw the goals return though: comfortably seeing off Garngad in the quarters before, for the second consecutive year, contesting a penalty shootout for a place in the final – this time after a pretty fiery encounter with Celtic Minded. This year the host team held their bottle! Buoyed by their underdog status the Green Brigade took an early lead before a late equaliser ensured the hard fought final with Cavendish 7-1 was going to another shootout. At the 6th time of asking, and being as close as they’d ever been, the Green Brigade held their nerve to win their own 2014 Anti-Discrimination Tournament.

As much as we enjoyed our footballing success there was far more important things to be satisfied with. We can’t thank enough everyone who played a part in making the day a success. Thanks has already came from St. Roch’s parish for the food donations and we must echo their sentiments as once again Celtic fans live up to their reputation and roots. For years this tournament has been an integral part to our season as it epitomises much of what Celtic means to us. Its evolution from a small tournament into an all round community event is totally flattering and it is a privilege to host it. We look forward to next year where we hope to see the same familiar faces and plenty more.

Thank you

Green Brigade

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade End of season 2013/14

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade Tournament + Food Drive – 14th June

As passionate Celtic fans it should come as no surprise that the Green Brigade share the exact same goodwill and charitable ethos which brought the formation of our club. As a beacon of hope to a starving and oppressed immigrant population Celtic would go on to become one of the greatest underdog stories ever told: becoming an everlasting and formidable symbol of not only hope and triumph but of tolerance, integration and of charity.

In the passing of time it can be easy to forget your roots. With a football world increasingly dominated by money it is all too easy and attractive to fall into the ‘just another club’ mould in the pursuit of success – on and off the field. And with a society riddled with encompassing apathy it is far too simple to lose sight of and neglect the very principles which make you who you are, which make you special, which make you Celtic.

The Celtic support is often lauded. Like our club we are special. We are recognised for our passion, for our number, for our noise, colour and commitment. However, whilst we’ve rightly earned such reputations, a lot of it is self-praise. Whilst on our day we could still match most supports ‘our day’ now seems to be far too far and few between. There’s obviously varying factors for this but I’d argue one would be complacency.

Our support isn’t simply renowned for passion though; much like our club isn’t merely recognised for footballing success. Together we represent a lot more – qualities which give the Club’s marketing team the right to use all manner of cheesy and nauseating sound bites and clichés. Whilst I make light of the ‘a club like no other’ promotions – I’m deadly serious in saying that we have every right to claim to be. However, such claims do lose their appeal and meaning when we allow ourselves to become complacent and forget the very characteristics which make us ‘like no other’.

We’re all well aware of one high profile and unnecessary incident this year involving a Celtic player. Whilst clearly unacceptable it was the reaction from the Club and a lot of the support which could be said to be far more disheartening. Without wanting to re-enter that debate though, the point being made is that it is dangerous to rest on your laurels: It is daft to promote a brand but fail to upkeep it; it is unhealthy to self-praise but fail to self-police; it is superficial to present values but fail to practice them.

This isn’t about sanctimony nor is it intended to pontificate. We all make mistakes. This is written by a member of a group familiar with a few. What is important though is how you react, rectify and learn from mistakes to avoid a repeat. For many it is probably pretty obvious and simple: practice what you preach. If we’re a Club engrained in charity then we should practice charity. If we believe in tolerance and integration then we should encourage it. If we are against all forms of discrimination then we should oppose them should they rear their ugly head.

In this spirit, the Green Brigade would like to invite all Celtic fans, and those of the Glasgow community, to join us on Saturday 14th June for our 6th Annual Anti-discrimination Football Tournament at Glenconner Park, Garngard. A staple of our season, the tournament is like no other around in providing a platform bringing together various ethnic and minority groups who make up the Glasgow community. Using football to break barriers we aim to promote tolerance and engage with each other groups whose paths may not normally cross. As always, a free barbeque will be provided as you are treated to football from the classy to the calamitous.

In December last year the Green Brigade organised a Christmas Food Drive which exceeded all expectation. Together with the help and generosity of the Celtic support an unbelievable 5,746.75kg (5.75 tonnes) of food was collected and distributed to the impoverished people of Glasgow’s East end and beyond – the single largest collection seen in this country. We were also given a total of £465.45 to pass on to the Glasgow North East Food Bank. This humbling and inspiring generosity encapsulated what Celtic means to so many of us. With this success in mind, we will couple this year’s tournament with another food collection. Confident that the Celtic support will once again prove its unrivalled commitment to charity we will be collecting on site for the duration of the tournament

We hope to see as many as possible turn out in Glasgow’s Garngad on the 14th and essentially celebrate, promote and practice all that is great about Celtic.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade in Palestine – Part 6

This week I attended a demonstration in the small village of Nabi Saleh. With around 550 residents the village has become a fairly well documented case attracting international press and activists. In 1977 the illegal Israeli settlement Halamish was built upon privately owned village land. The residents of Nabi Saleh and nearby Deir Nidham lodged a court case in Israel’s high court but were unable to stop the construction of the settlement, deemed illegal under international law. In 2008 settlers seized a number of springs located on land owned by Nabi Saleh residents, annexing yet more land and preventing those in the village from working the surrounding fields. In 2009, the village began weekly non-violent demonstrations opposing the theft of land.





Each time the demonstration make its way down the road between the village and settlement the protesters are confronted by Israeli occupation soldiers in armoured vehicles using excessive, and in some cases lethal force, to disperse, harm and arrest those demonstrating. This week would be no different as we walked down the road, mothers hand in hand with daughters chanting and singing, international press and activists and village elders. Having marched for no longer than two minutes, several armoured vehicles sped towards us and set up position. Immediately, tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets thundered towards the youth throwing stones on the hillside above those marching. This continued for a while, each time the explosive sound of rubber coated steel bullets being fired was followed by everyone, including the children, turning and ducking, hoping not to be hit. The soldiers advanced upwards towards the youth throwing stones whilst one of the vehicles, resembling more a tank than an armoured car, sped in our direction, driving straight through the crowd as people ran to each side to avoid being knocked down. The vehicle turned at the top of the hill and advanced once more at the crowd, some only managing to get back to their feet. Still, mothers, daughters, sons all instinctively lifted stones and bombarded the metal exterior accompanied by victorious cheers. As with those shot and murdered in Ofer in a previous update, their actions portray a legitimate refusal of a foreign occupier. It was uplifting to see the glimmer of happiness this evoked among the demonstrators. 









In total, as of the 31st of March 2011, 64 village residents have been arrested. All but three were tried for participating in the non-violent demonstrations. Of those imprisoned, 29 have been minors under the age of 18 years and 4 have been women. The village is routinely the target of night raids, harassing families and arresting alleged stone throwers. Bassem Al-Tamimi, one of the leaders of the non-violent protests has been arrested twelve times, in one instance being held for three years under administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, a method mentioned in the previous update. The village claimed further notoriety following the murder of Mustafa and Rushdi Tamimi. In 2011, Mustafa was shot in the face at close range by a teargas canister and later died. I decided against including the pictures of his horrific injuries, instead the following shows the obvious intent to harm and kill using methods of ‘crowd dispersion’. As the armoured vehicle speeds away from the demonstration, the barrel of the rifle can be seen peering through a gap in the door.



The following year, 28 year old Rushdi was shot and killed during a demonstration in Nabi Saleh in solidarity with those in Gaza during Israel’s barbaric offensive ‘Pillar of Cloud’.



For me, the increasingly bleak and constant oppression and humiliation at the hands of the Israeli state in Nabi Saleh cannot over shadow the unity and bravery the village illustrates. The resilience to demonstrate every Friday, knowing each time what will ensue, consistently putting yourself in harm’s way in front of trigger happy soldiers is nothing short of astounding. This strength is a common trait that you come across in Palestine, when faced with unparallel levels of torture they stand strong with only the wish to exist and the right to freedom. The weekly demonstrations continue.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade Anti Discrimination Tournament

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade Tournament And Food Drive

As passionate Celtic fans it should come as no surprise that the Green Brigade share the exact same goodwill and charitable ethos which brought the formation of our club. As a beacon of hope to a starving and oppressed immigrant population Celtic would go on to become one of the greatest underdog stories ever told: becoming an everlasting and formidable symbol of not only hope and triumph but of tolerance, integration and of charity.

In this spirit, the Green Brigade would like to invite all Celtic fans, and those of the Glasgow community, to join us on Saturday 14th June for our 6th Annual Anti-discrimination Football Tournament at Glenconner Park, Garngard. A staple of our season, the tournament is like no other around in providing a platform bringing together various ethnic and minority groups who make up the Glasgow community. Using football to break barriers we aim to promote tolerance and engage with each other groups whose paths may not normally cross. As always, a free barbeque will be provided as you are treated to football from the classy to the calamitous.

In December last year the Green Brigade organised a Christmas Food Drive which exceeded all expectation. Together with the help and generosity of the Celtic support an unbelievable 5,746.75kg (5.75 tonnes) of food was collected and distributed to the impoverished people of Glasgow’s East end and beyond – the single largest collection seen in this country. We were also given a total of £465.45 to pass on to the Glasgow North East Food Bank. This humbling and inspiring generosity encapsulated what Celtic means to so many of us. With this success in mind, we will couple this year’s tournament with another food collection. Confident that the Celtic support will once again prove its unrivalled commitment to charity we will be collecting on site for the duration of the tournament.

We hope to see as many as possible turn out in Glasgow’s Garngad on the 14th and essentially celebrate, promote and practice all that is great about Celtic.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade in Palestine – Part 5

This week I attended a demonstration outside Ramle prison, inside ’48 Israel, in support of those on hunger strike. Around 150 Palestinian political prisoners have been refusing food, some entering their 5th week, surviving on nothing but water and salt. The mass strike is in protest of Israel’s practice of administrative detention, whereby, detainees are imprisoned under the guise of ‘secret evidence’. The state has the power to bar access to a lawyer for up to 90 days and even with access the lawyer will still not be allowed to see the secret evidence, making it impossible to provide a defence. Administrative detention orders last for a maximum of 6 months but can be renewed indefinitely. In theory, family visits are allowed twice a month, but if the detainee is held inside Israel special permits are required for family members which are often denied without reason. Holding Palestinian prisoners from the occupied West Bank inside ’48 Israel is yet another violation of international law. In some cases, prisoners are told a few days before the order has finished that they will be released, giving them time to prepare to see their family, however, on the day of their release they are given another 6 month detention order. The method is employed as a form of psychological torture, not only being imprisoned without knowing when you will be released, but to give false hope only to issue another term of detention. The routine use of administrative detention is yet another injustice in Israel’s apartheid regime.

Three bus loads left from Jerusalem for the 1 hour journey to Ramle, everyone on the bus wearing black t-shirts with the slogan “The prisoners are not alone”. Those living in the West Bank are not given permission to travel to occupied Jerusalem so those who joined the demonstration were those living in ’48 Israel. Palestinians living in Israel make up around 20% of the population and face discrimination across the board.

As the buses pulled up outside the prison people poured out making as much noise as possible, forming a block as they marched to the front gate. The majority of demonstrators were men aged around 18 and above, which felt like it had an impact on the way the Israeli police stood back the entire time.

Prison guards filmed the protesters from the watch tower above, whilst others stood from a distance in relatively small numbers in comparison to other demonstrations. Soon a PA system had been setup and the deafening chants began ringing out. I asked someone whether the prisoners would be able to hear us and the person replied definitively ‘yes, even those in solitary confinement will hear us’. Automatically, I started thinking about women outside the Maze banging bin lids against the concrete, just another way to let the prisoners know they are not alone.
Another person once held under administrative detention for 3 years before his victorious 97 day hunger strike was Palestinian national footballer Mahmoud Sarsak. He played a charity football match in Glasgow with the Green Brigade and after spoke about his detention. One thing that stood out was how he explained the psychological torment that was inflicted. He mentioned that to reach your cell you are taken through around 19 mechanically locked doors with the system designed so that the door behind you must be locked before the one in front is opened. He explained the feeling of being so dethatched from the rest of human society as if you had be wiped of the face of the earth and no one would remember you. As the chants turned to song, getting louder and louder and with more and more venom, you couldn’t help but feel connected to those on the other side of the barbed wire.

The protest lulled for Friday prayers and speakers began as the deafening noise turned to peaceful reflection.

After the final speaker the music and chants resumed, even louder and more passionately than before. Families holding picture of relatives on hunger strike, pointing to the sky and mustering every gasp of air to make sure the prisoners could hear them.

Nearing the end of the demonstration a few bottles and stones were thrown at the Police but they stood back knowing it wouldn’t be possible to attempt any arrest. The older men shouted ‘enough’, reinforcing that today was about being as one with those on hunger strike, not confrontation. As the buses began pulling away we sat listening to one of the organisers speak over the microphone on the bus. He began dialling his phone and the whole bus fell silent. One of those on hunger strike inside Ramle began speaking on loudspeaker, the phone pressed against the mic to make the sound travel. Everyone listened intently to every word until the man holding the phone put his hand to his ear and the whole bus erupted in support, shouting and cheering. Afterwards, I was told the political prisoner on hunger strike was on his 27th day without food. He repeatedly mentioned how loud the protesters were and the lift it had given everyone refusing food as a last resort to fight against this incredibly unjust form of internment. His father sat beside me listening without showing any sadness or resentment, but a look of pride for his son’s unbelievable courage and resilience. It was an overwhelming feeling to see the support for those risking their lives in a collective fight for justice and the response behind the prison wall.

“The prisoners are not alone”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade in Palestine – Part 4

In this week’s update I’ll be covering the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) and the protest I attended outside Ofer Military Prison. This year was the 66th anniversary of the Nakba, or ‘catastrophe’, marking the expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948 upon the establishment of Israel. According to the United Nations the number today is closer to 5 million refugees. Across Palestine and inside 1948 Israel, demonstrations and events took place commemorating the disaster and calling for the right to return to their homes.

I decided to go the Ofer Military Prison where a demonstration had been called, the same prison holding some of the 100+ Palestinian political detainees on hunger calling for an end to administrative detention mentioned in last week’s update. Demonstrations outside Ofer are known for being some of the most violent, something I would soon find out, a stark contrast to the festival type atmosphere created in Ramallah by the Palestinian Authority.

I arrived first thing in the morning with only a few of the shabab (youth) arriving still carrying their school bags. The entrance to the prison is guarded first by a huge gate manned by armed personal in civilian clothing, followed by a two separate checkpoints with bag scanners and metal detectors requiring ID to be shown at both before being buzzed in. The protest would never reach this far, after seeing the group of 7 or 8 children a few hundred meters from the entrance two armoured vehicles arrived and Israeli border police took position.

It didn’t take long for more and more to arrive, both girls and boys, throwing stones, burning tires, all fully unaware of what would follow. The first two hours or so the loud bang of rubber coated steel bullets rang out, each time everyone ducking for cover or seeking cover behind whatever was nearest. That said, at no point could you suggest the shabab were in any sense scared, on the contrary, the bravery to keep advancing towards the scope of trigger happy border police was unbelievable to witness. The tear gas filled your lungs and aggressively attacked your eyes and nose. Again, the youth threw back what tear gas they could pick up amidst the continual sound of the rubber coated steel bullets exploding from the rifle.

Those loud bangs abruptly changed, instead a fast clap could be heard. The border police had begun to shoot live ammunition. Still some of the youth kept throwing stones, resilient and never showing fear. I stood at the side of a building, pointlessly taking cover after each time the live ammunition was used. As I would soon find out, if you hear the shot you are most likely still alive.

Suddenly, 20 metres or so in front of me a young boy crumpled to the ground. The clap sound rang out immediately after. The screams began echoing along the street, everyone signalling to the two ambulances parked further up the road. One boy picked up the child on the floor, surrounded by others trying to help and ran towards the coming ambulance.

Once the ambulance sped off all eyes turned to the boy who had carried his friend. His clothes soaked in blood from chest to knees. He began violently being sick at the side of the road, the shock taking over his body, paramedics running to hold him from collapsing. Speaking to paramedics a short while after we hear a bullet has gone through his lung and exited his back, it’s unclear if the boy is alive or not. The demonstration continues.

It seems like déjà vu as this continued to happen throughout the day, another body dropping lifelessly towards the concrete. Ambulances screaming away from the scene as the border police sniper continued to pick off protesters. It felt like I had lost count of how many had been shot, the whole tragic and traumatic scene merging into one horrible afternoon.

Getting back to my apartment and already the news has covered the demonstration. Two dead the headline reads. Muhammad Abu Thahr, 15 and Nadim Nuwara, 17, both shot in the chest with live ammunition. Another three youth were hospitalised with bullet wounds, one to the chest and the other two with bullets tearing through their limbs. The images of parents hearing of their child’s death outside the hospital is almost, if not more, chilling to see.

The day gave me a lot to reflect over. Firstly, the limited use of tear gas shot towards demonstrators in comparison to previous years and nearly every other demonstration in Palestine kept playing on my mind. The fact that three out of the five shot by the Israeli snipers that day were shot in the chest, close to the heart further exposes their motives. Instead of crowd prevention and control the intention was nothing short of murder. Israel’s prime minister claims that stones are “lethal weapons” carrying a prison sentence of up to 20 years, carrying out night raids, taking children they deem guilty from their homes to notorious G4S ran interrogation centres. To me, stone throwing is nothing more than a refusal to accept a foreign coloniser illegally occupying your land. It is no match, nor is it meant to be, against one of the most well equipped military in the world. It is our right to refuse and dismiss any illegal occupation. Regardless of your opinion after reading this, two mothers have had their sons taken from them, two fathers have buried their children and Palestine has received another two martyrs. The Nakba continues.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade In Palestine – Part 3

This week I want to focus on travelling through checkpoints in Palestine, specifically, Qalandia. It’s the main checkpoint separating the north of the West Bank, places like Ramallah and Nablus, with Jerusalem and ’48 Israel. It’s hard to grasp the emotional side of having your movement controlled and restricted so here is a run through of my experience, something many Palestinians must do on a daily basis.

I travelled by bus from Ramallah, however, the bus can only reach as far as the checkpoint with a Palestinian number plate, meaning passengers must board another bus once through. I decided to get off before the checkpoint and walk my way in to get a better idea of the conditions. You are first greeted by the 8 meter high concrete wall on both sides, leading the traffic towards the checkpoint. When walking you enter a large metal building with little to no light.

Going forward, you pick one of the five metal entrances. Immediately you feel claustrophobic and confined. The width only allows for single file and the queue builds behind me, with 10 or so ahead, everyone waiting on the light ahead turning green to allow a certain number to advance to the next stage of the humiliating experience. If you look closely to the photo above, not only are there metal bars on either side you, a wire mesh lies about a foot above head height. Surrounding this cage is another set of metal bars which protrudes outwards at the top to reinforce the impossibility of climbing. If that wasn’t enough, masses of barbed wire surround us.

We wait for 5 minutes or so before the light changes to green allowing 10-15 people to go through the first turnstile. Thankfully this was 12 in the afternoon on a weekend and so was nowhere near as busy as it can be. Stories of school children missing days or being denied entry because their place of education falls on the other side of where the Israeli’s decided to build the wall, workers having to queue at 4 in the morning just to make work at 9. For many Palestinians it is impossible to access a hospital without crossing one of the many military checkpoints.

Once through the first section you wind through metal barriers until choosing from one of two entrances. Not a single soldier or border police can be seen. You queue again behind yet another turnstile, waiting on the light to change green and the whim of the soldier looking on through the many security cameras. Ahead you see a bag scanner, the exact same as in any airport, alongside a body scanner. Made to wait again, I see old women tired and frustrated, university students fed up, clutching their books and wishing the process would hurry up. Eventually, the light flashes green, allowing two in at a time. We remove belts, wallets, phones and put it in a plastic tray with our bags, going through the body scanner one at a time. The equipment Israel uses at this, and many other checkpoints, is made by a company ‘Rapiscan’, provided by G4S, the same mob that you will see every day in Glasgow as private security. The company have a horrible track record, providing immigration detention centres, facilitating the deportation of individuals, most notably, killing Jimmy Mubenga at Heathrow airport in 2010. This is the first time I see a soldiers face, through a reinforced window.

I see two soldiers leaning back on their chairs as if they were in a boring class at school, both no older than 21. I press my passport up against the window, waiting for their approval. The female soldier shrugs and looks at me as if to suggest why am I even bothering her and communicates by waving her hand away to say I can go. The male soldier looks on bemused and smiles, presumably they don’t have many from other countries going through the ordeal. He begins waving and smiling as I collect my items, continuing even though I look away. I walk out to board the second bus to continue my journey to Jerusalem.

The whole inhumane experience is designed to remove all control and feeling of freedom. The lack of soldiers is a clear strategy to remove all human interaction, leaving you at the mercy of seeing the green light that a young soldier doing national service decides to press. The confined space and complete overkill in ‘security’ must emotionally harm children having to go through the ordeal twice a day. Israel uses the pretence of ‘security’ to justify these checkpoints but it only serves as a form of collective punishment. If a worker is lucky enough to be given a permit to work in Jerusalem, any form of political activity or sign of resistance will have this so called privilege taken away from them. In July this year it will be 10 years since the International Court of Justice deemed the wall illegal, and with it the checkpoints and still it continues.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Green Brigade in Palestine – Part 2

This week’s update, I joined the May Day procession in Ramallah, went to a demonstration supporting hunger strikers in administrative detention in Hebron and met a family in Bethlehem effected by the continual building of the apartheid wall.

A few different groups turned out for the May Day procession in Ramallah, including the communist party and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions being the largest. All ages marched behind separate banners followed by flute bands.

The next day I went to Hebron for a demonstration in support of around 200 Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike. The strike was called against the use of administrative detention, it’s a form of detention that first started during the British mandate of Palestine and continues to be used by the Israelis. It’s seen by many as a similar form of internment used in Ireland as you can be held for up to 6 months without going to trial. After the 6 months the detention order may be renewed as many times as they see fit, often saying charges can’t be made as the information against them is “secret”.This was the first time in two years since the attacks on Gaza that Hamas and Fatah held a joint demonstration with huge numbers.

After the demo had finished the shabab(youth) went to the Shuhada Street. Hebron had been split in to two sectors, H1 and H2, H1 being controlled by the Palestinian Authority and H2 controlled by Israel in an agreement reached in 1997 by the PLO and Israel. Thousands of Palestinians left their homes in H2 as a result of the continual harassment by illegal settlers, leaving their businesses in the process. Shuhada Street, once the main point of commerce, is where the split in the city is most apparent, separated by a checkpoint. The H2 side of the street has been labelled the “Ghost Town” due to the amount of closed businesses.

The Palestinian Authority, often seen to coordinate with the Israelis, held the shabab back from protesting near the checkpoint. A young boy around 10-12 threw a molotov cocktail in the direction of the checkpoint which spurred a flurry of Israeli occupation soldiers to run through to H1, throwing sound grenades and setting up position. The PA soldiers quickly left before the IOF soldiers appeared. We had been told there would be at least 2 snipers on the roof surrounding the area. This sort of resistance is a weekly occurrence in Hebron after Friday prayers.

The shabab moved back and began burning tyres and rolling them down the street, the smoke blocked the IOF’s vision whilst they threw stones. The frustration of living in such close quarters to soldiers and constant settler attacks means this is one of the only ways to vent your anger under occupation.

The next day, as part of the work I’m doing, I travelled to a small village outside Bethlehem called Al-Walaja. The group I’m working for are building up case studies of people affected by the wall as its 10 years this July since the International Court of Justice deemed the wall to be illegal under international law . Al-Walaja is nearly surrounded by the apartheid wall, with further plans to completely lock it off from every side whilst the settlement literally next to it continues to grow.

I met with Abu-Nidal, a father of 7 who grows fruit and produces honey. His case is particular bad as the wall is soon to take 80% of his land which would financial cripple the whole family. Even worse, both his parents are buried in a section the Israeli’s plan to build the wall upon. He went to court appeal the decision and they agreed to build the wall even closer to his house, stealing more land and subsequently meaning he will no longer be able to visit his parent’s grave. He was an unbelievable person, resilient, smart and funny. Even after all they had done he still only blamed the colonial government as the cause of his suffering.

Will update more next week.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off