[WSMDiscuss] Palestine in movement…, Youth in movement… : A Year After the March, Gaza Organizer Explains Why the Protests Continue

Rabin Chakraborty fromrabin at gmail.com
Wed Mar 13 05:34:28 CET 2019

Thanks for the message.


On Tue, Mar 12, 2019 at 8:31 PM Jai Sen <jai.sen at cacim.net> wrote:

> Tuesday, March 12, 2019
> *Palestine in movement…, Youth in movement…*
> A Year After the March, Gaza Organizer Explains Why the Protests Continue
> https://portside.org/2019-03-11/year-after-march-gaza-organizer-explains-why-protests-continue
> *Portside Date:* March 11, 2019
> *Author:* Chiara Cruciati
> *Date of source:* March 7, 2019
> il manifesto
> [image: Palestinian demonstrators]
> Salah Abdel Ati lived through the First Intifada as a young student and a
> leader of the student movement in Gaza. Now, in very different
> circumstances, he is one of the organizers of the protests taking place
> along the dividing line between Gaza and Israel. He came to Rome for a
> series of events organized by Cultura è Libertà, Assopace and Rete Romana,
> part of his European tour that also included a stop at the EU Parliament.
> Speaking with us in the courtyard of the International Women’s House in
> Rome, he summed up a year of non-stop demonstrations in Gaza, an event that
> reminded many of the Intifada.
> “On March 30, the Great March of Return will be one year old,” he said.
> “We will evaluate the mistakes made and the prospects for the future. We
> will launch the ‘A Million Places’ initiative, featuring events outside
> Palestine, in the Middle East and worldwide, aimed at bringing the
> Palestinian issue to attention again.”
> *How did the March start, and on whose initiative?*
> It started from a push by young people, determined to find a different
> solution for Jerusalem than Trump’s view, the advance of Israeli
> colonization and the continued siege of Gaza. We wanted to focus on popular
> resistance. More than a year ago, all of us got together—NGOs, youth
> movements, civil society, political leaders, women’s organizations—to
> discuss and launch an initiative. It was meant promote three messages: the
> right of return of the refugees, the unity of the Palestinian parties and
> the end of the siege on Gaza. We identified the means and divided up
> responsibilities. At the first demonstration, on March 30, 2018, we were
> one million strong. Families, children, youth, workers, refugees—for the
> first time in a long time, we were all together, including the political
> parties, and flying one flag, the Palestinian one.
> *It was supposed to end on May 15, the anniversary of the Nakba. Why did
> you choose to continue it?*
> It was impossible for us to stop after what happened on those days, on May
> 14 and 15: Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the
> Israeli army committed a massacre in Gaza. Israel strikes back against all
> forms of resistance, whether armed or non-violent. The only way to get any
> result is to put pressure on the occupation: because of these
> demonstrations, which were followed by others organized in solidarity in
> Jordan, Lebanon and the West Bank, we managed to get the Rafah crossing to
> Egypt re-opened, which had been closed for almost all of the previous year.
> *In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has been repressing the
> marches in support of Gaza.*
> The PNA’s police has been repressing the demonstrations, and has also
> tried to bring the activists to heel, taking them in for questioning.
> Mahmoud Abbas is very afraid of change. He does not want reconciliation
> with Hamas unless Hamas gives him total control over Gaza, with no
> dialogue, a completely free hand. He is violating the rights of the
> Palestinians in the West Bank, just like Hamas is doing in Gaza. This lack
> of unity is harming us at this time of serious political crisis and
> external pressure. Palestinians are demanding one unified national project:
> the return of the PLO and parliamentary and presidential elections. A new
> system that would be democratic and shared.
> *Does the march still have this potential to exert political pressure?
> Many believe that it is now under the control of Hamas.*
> The March is not under the control of Hamas. Those who are participating
> are really from the grassroots, youth movements, NGOs. There are committees
> organized for different directions of activity: communications, youth,
> women, the BDS movement, refugees, healthcare. It is true that Hamas is in
> control of Gaza, as it is the government there. Hamas is an important part
> of the initiative, but it is not its leader. But Hamas doesn’t have
> exclusive control over Gaza in any case: there is also the Israeli
> occupation, as well as the foreign delegations which keep arriving, like
> the Egyptian or the Qatari, who are looking to play a role. In spite of
> these powers and their attempts to end the demonstrations, popular
> participation in the March is holding steady. It’s not because we want to
> die, but because we love life. If we haven’t been successful in creating
> political unity, this is due to the depth of the fractures between Hamas
> and Fatah.
> *Do people take part in the March out of enthusiasm, or out of
> desperation?*
> What is motivating people is frustration. We are persevering because we
> don’t want to let young people lose hope. Now they are feeling empowered,
> part of a new dynamic. This is why snipers are mainly targeting teenagers:
> to break their spirit. The lack of reaction from the international
> community makes the feeling of having been abandoned even more powerful. We
> have no other solution but to continue the popular resistance, and to
> invest in young people: thus, a new and democratic political leadership can
> arise.
> ------------------------------
> *Source URL:* *https://portside.org/2019-03-11/year-after-march-gaza-organizer-explains-why-protests-continue
> <https://portside.org/2019-03-11/year-after-march-gaza-organizer-explains-why-protests-continue>*
> ______________________________
> Jai Sen
> Independent researcher, editor
> jai.sen at cacim.net
> Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on
> unceded Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
> Current associations : www.cacim.net / http://www.openword.net.in
> CURRENT / RECENT publications :
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – *The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our
> Dance*. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press
> <http://www.pmpress.org/>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?*, Indian edition. New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration
> with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN
> <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>
> , MOM1Flipkart
> <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>,
> and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?*.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and
> hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2016a  – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?* and Jai Sen, ed, 2016b – *The Movements of Movements, Part 2 :
> Rethinking Our Dance* (both then forthcoming from New Delhi : OpenWord
> and Oakland, CA : PM Press), open access *ADVANCE PREFINAL ONLINE
> MOVEMENT EDITIONS @ www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net>*
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Rabin Chakraborty
Mob: 9477104966
Mob: 9433728792
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