19 August 2009
Today, the first nonviolent demonstration for the children of Bil’in took place to protest against the night raids and the many arrests of young boys in the village. They carried banners and chanted slogans like “We want to sleep,” “No more night raids,” “Let us live,” “We want Peace,” and so on. The children lead the demonstration toward the Apartheid Wall with villagers and Palestinian and international activists following them. At the Wall they were met by two soldiers who were on regular duty at the Wall.
Once they arrived at the Wall, the children continued their chanting as the soldiers watched. Two Jeeps arrived with reinforcement. Noticing that the gate, which gives access to the Wall, was open, five soldiers came through the door of the Wall to close it shut while the children chanted into their faces and activists challenged them about arresting children. They asked them whether they were ever thinking about what they were doing. Once the gate was shut, the occupation forces retreated.
The children and the protesters gathered at the Wall for a while placing their posters and flags at the gate. Seeing all the children, the occupation forces refrained from firing any tear gas or ammunition. They simply told everyone to go back. Eventually, everyone returned to the village.