ICAHD has been organising weekly protests every Friday against the home demolitions happening in Sheikh Jarrah. Recently activists have been arrested and banned by the Jerusalem court from the neighbourhood in which they were protesting. They are planning to defy that ban today (Friday, 4th June). Below is a report by Sahar Vardi, an ICAHD worker.
“Legal costs are killing us”, says Sahar. To donate to the struggle, click here.
Two weeks ago 14 activists where arrested in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, myself included. We were arrested because we claimed our right to enter a street in which the Israeli government evicted 4 Palestinian families from their homes and gave them to settlers; we were arrested because we demanded to enter a street that was occupied by settlers who attack and harrass the Palestinian residents. We were arrested because we could not stand and watch as the police allowed the settlers to do as they wish and forbade us from protesting this injustice. Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be arrested while other protesters were dragged on the floor, causing fractured arms and dislocated ribs.
This morning, the Jerusalem court proved again that it, like the police and many other courts, choose the side of the settlers and continue to discriminate one person from another according to race and political opinion, by acknowledging one sideas right on land and not the others, by choosing to allow settlers on the street but not the visitors of the Palestinian families and by banning peace activists from the neighborhood while the right wing settlers attack and steal.
The court decided that all of us who were arrested are banned from participating for five months in any demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, unless it is authorized by the police (for many months the police have refused to authorize such demonstrations), and, worse, that we are banned from being in the street from which the Palestinian families were evicted for five months.
We would be glad to give it up our right to protest if the injustices we protest were to be a thing of the past. We do not care for the minor personal price we pay and we are willing to pay far more; we care that next time the settlers will attack and the police will do nothing, as they never do, we will not be able to be there to stop it; we care because the court that has already in the past ruled that there is a different law for Israelis and Palestinians _ this is what we protest in Sheikh Jarrah _ now proves there is a different law also for those who fight for the rights of others. We care as this is a ruling of a racist court that now ruled itself fascist as well.
The court is only a mirror of our society that is becoming more and more racist and now more and more fascist.
We declared in our slogans to the beat of our drums that we will not allow fascism to pass, and in Sheikh Jarrah we will stand, with the unjust decisions of the court and the settler violence and the police discrimination; and with our protest, with our bodies and our disobedience we will not allow fascism to pass!
We will not deposit our bail!
We will not agree to our banning from Sheikh Jarrah!
We will not respect a court working for the occupation!
This coming Friday, with or with out a permit from the police, we will march from West Jerusalem to Sheikh Jarrah to protest the on-going occupation, the eviction of people from their homes and the spreading racism and we will call to reinstall democracy now!
I will be there, will you?