imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Report from Gaza, Palestine

by Tamara Rettino Monday, Jul. 08, 2002 at 1:01 PM 011 972-56-489-346

update from member of ISM in Palestine

The writing on the bullet ravaged wall said "If you destroy our

houses you will not destroy our souls."

We spent four days in Khan Yunis and Raffa, the southern most city in

all of Gaza, right on the border of Egypt. Everything there is more

intense, the heat, the poverty, the devastation, and the spirit of

the people. The people here can see the ocean, can dream of wading in

the mediteranian, but have not been able to reach the beach for over

two years. The population of Raffa area is around 140,000 in 24

kilometers. The Israeli settler population is between 100-200 people.

To "protect" these settlers and settlements (many of which are nearly

empty) the military has imposed grueling checkpoints and fences(a

mother and her two very small children were shot in the head at the

Khan Yunis checkpoint yesterday, which has no real security purpose

as nothing is searched and no id's are checked), has evicted hundreds

of families, and has completely demolished over 250 homes and

partially demolished a similar number. Every night we were in Raffa

more homes were destroyed. We came to the Hai Al Brasil camp in the

morning to find nine homes gone (the only warning given was the first

ramming of the bulldozer.) Shoes, cleaning supplies, and sweaters

were sticking out of the rubble, a fig tree uprooted with fruit still

fresh and green.Families asked us to stay with them to help protect

them from the shelling and the bulldozers. We alerted the media, and

made banners to hang from the windows announcing our presence and

reminding the soldiers that "The Whole World is Watching." However,

when we arrived the families, without any history or knowledge of

direct action and us being the first real ISM group in gaza, changed

their minds and felt we might attract more attention to them. It was

really frustrating,as most things in Raffa were, but we are dedicated

to following the lead of the locals and only doing actions with their

approval and help. Most of our work in Raffa was just meeting with

officials and laying the groundwork for future ISM groups. What we've

found, particularly in Gaza where the ISM is new, is that it is

really important to first build relationships with the people here,

and then gain their trust before busting in to start direct

action.The Palestinians have a very specific way of doing things, a

wonderful hospitality, but the pace is much slower then we

pushy "americans" are used to. We are so well fed right now. It

contrast to the fear of hunger we experienced under curfew in

Ramallah, the families here have been laying out spreads that would

impress a king. We sit in rooms lacey with bullet holes and eat

hearth warm pita, spicy fel fel, and lemon soaked tomato salads.

Everywhere we go they serve tea, coffe, and soft drinks before we

barely sit down. One of our first nights in Raffa happened to be the

4th of July. I can't tell you how happy I was to be spending it here

instead of there, I do not envy you the patriotic bullshit you must

have been subjected to. We had been invited to stay at an athletic

center which was very very warm inside, so a few of the women opted

to sleep on the roof. Our host,Ali, smiled and said, "Ah...just wait

you will be lulled to sleep by the music of Raffa." We were very

confused until minutes later choruses of machine gun fire began. Ali

assured us we were quite safe, and that this is an every night

occurance here. (We met several mothers who told us stories about

psychological and emotional affect this has had on their children.

Two year olds crying out at night that the Israelis are going to come

kill them, a three year old who stopped talking after his neighbors

house was razed.)The gunfire became more and more intense, and we

heard several explosions. We tryed to relax and take the attitude of

the Palestinian we have talked to who upon seeing our tears tell

us.."This is our life. We don't get upset. This is just the way it

is." But when we actually SAW the "rockets red glare and bombs

bursting in air," we decided to head inside. It's unbelievable they

live with this nightmare all the time.

At one point many of us felt like we were falling to pieces, like we

couldn't keep it together at all. We were trying to get into Al

Mawasi, a town near the ocean that has been cut off form everything

for a long time.The soldiers wouldn't budge, and barefoot street

children were swarming us. The boys were beating relentlessly on a

little girl, and for the first time I just began crying inconsolably.

With the shrieking of the soldiers in the background, I could see so

clearly that the behavior of these children was a direct result of

the violence of the occupation. When we stopped to rest I wrote the

following stream of consciousness/list:

too much to soak up, I can't hold it all, the poverty, the violence,

the culture, the hospitality under dire conditions,dirt, bullet holes,

graffiti, posters of martyrs, checkpoints, donkey drawn carts,

barefoot children with grabbing hands, women in black hijab, houmos,

pita, syrupy sweet sodas, glass after glass of sugar sweetened tea,

blind begging men, cigaratte smoke, ocean full of jelly fish, felafel

stands, rotting teeth, the cut scarred faces of children, roadblocks,

camoflage, the ring of machine gun fire,the swoosh boom of missiles,

the skepticism and the thank yous, women walking with bundles on

their head through trash filled streets, the over wrapped sweating

babies, the screaming soldiers, the heat, the stench, the fear, the

desperation, welcome to hell, dotted with isreali can I

ever wear my star again? Fruit stands, watermelon, bottled water,

communal eating, affinity group, negotiations, trying to figure out

how we can make it all go away.

We met with the mayor of Raffa, Said Zourob, he sits in a circle in

the sand outside his home every day so that people in the community

can come bring problems to hime after office hours. He tells us 48%

of those killed by the IDF in Raffa are under the age of twelve. He

tells us the occupation has made things so bad that people are

struggling just to survive, they don't have time to think about

resistance. But he warns us that the practices of the IDF are

dangerous..."If you make us more is against the security

of Israel." He shoos the women off to meet with his wife and

children. His eldest daughters attend Univeristy studying majoring in

econmics and engineering. The whole family is bright and talkative.

The spill out their stories to us, while pushing bowls of humous

towards our mouths.Here in Palestine the elite and the working class

have common experiences and a common enemy. Even in their elegant

homes they upper classes are not protected from the horrors of the

occupation and the sound of gunfire at night.

We had the chance to meet with, Dr. Ghazi Hamed Hamed, a

respresentative from Hammas. He is by far one of the most interesting

and suprising people I have met here. Calm, well spoken, and very

upfront. He spoke frankly, and gave us a picture of Hammas that we

would never imagine in the west. He told is about the organizing they

do for those in need, the construction of schools and social service

organizations. They also have a womens group, "some people

misunderstand us.We do not discriminate against women and there is

nothing to prevent them from being leaders." He also said that

although he supports the Palestinian right (as detailed in

international law) to armed resistance, he does not personally

support suicide bombings. However he reminded us that many people

feel that is the only way they can fight against the

occupation. "Bush is stupid. He's acting just like Sharon," he told

us,"Pushing the war machine, which will create a million Osama Bin


After meeting with Ghazi we visited the Childrens Parliment. It was

one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. Children

gathered together to voice their concerns and vote on ways to

address the problems. These children were very small some only around

8 years old, but they spoke with great understanding and maturity.

The spoke of the problem of being shot at on the way to school.

Little children learning to process and respond in democratic ways

that I've never seen in the USA. One of the littlest girls had been

in the car when her father, and several siblings were killed by an

Israeli missile. The only surviors were herself and her mother. She

got up without prompting and sang a song, with clenched fist and

closed eyes, about her father. She sang, Where are you my daddy..when

are you coming home. I know you are not coming back, but I

understand. You were a fighter, doing what you must to fight for our

land, to fight for the freedom of Palestine.



Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy