The message of our joint Palestinian-Israeli-International demonstration
'Inquilab Zindabad!' (Long live revolution)... An intense, passionate
voice ... of young patriot Bhagat Singh.
India is still under British rule... In his teens, Bhagat Singh witnessed the brutal massacre of hundreds of innocent
people at the Jalianwala Bagh. ... Singh goes into hiding as the Brits decide to pass an act of ordinance that allows
them to arrest and shoot at sight.
... Bhagat Singh gave a provoking speech in the court of law, bringing to notice the atrocities of the foreign government
to everyone. On 23 March 1931, Bhagat Singh was hanged to death. Next
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The demonstration: I stood right on the dividing line between
the army and the demonstrators. I can testify that the army dispersed the peaceful demonstration violently, using tear gas
and forcibly detaining some of us. The violence was neither provoked nor reciprocated.
What really goes on? The "aim"
of the demonstrators is to reach the construction site of the Apartheid Wall, which is well within the village territory,
basically to claim ownership. This is Friday afternoon. No construction work takes place (nothing to stop), nor is there anything
on site that can be disturbed;the project is at the infrastructure stage.
The "aim" of the army is to show who is the boss by stopping the demonstration
within the village itself.
A standoff develops. The army "declares" Bil'in to be "closed military area", making
the presence of anybody but the residents illegal. They instruct us to disperse within fifteen minutes. We don't, so
they let us stay for another ten minutes. What they hope for is some show of "violence". A stone thrown whould be great. Some
harsh words could do as well.
In the meantime, some of our spokespeople address the demonstrators and the army
(both sides use megaphones), basically telling the soldiers that we are here at the invitation of the village residents,
whereas they are illegal, disinvited, unwelcome tresspassers, that should leave. The soldiers are also being reminded
of their mothers and girlfriends waiting at home. They are being asked to question the validity of what they do, whose interests
they serve, and to consider what they will one day have to answer their (still unborn) children.
The speeches start in Arabic, continue in English, and finally switch to Hebrew.
It is at this stage that the officers get very nervous. Now the soldiers can understand the message. This needs to be stopped.
The tear gas and stun granades are being shot into the crowd, which is chased
into the village, with anybody within reach being "detained".
A Palestinian speaker addressing the soldiers:"Please leave in peace"