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Bil’in weekly demonstration reenacts the Avatar film

Friends of Freedom and Justice

12 February 2010

Demonstrator in Bilin dresses as the Navi from the film Avatar

Demonstrator in Bilin dresses as the Navi from the film Avatar

The village of Bil’in reenacted James Cameron’s new film Avatar during today’s weekly demonstration. Five Palestinian, Israeli and international activists were painted blue, with pointy ears and tales, resembling the Avatar characters. Like Palestinians, the Avatars fight imperialism, although the colonizers have different origins. The Avatars’ presence in Bil’in today symbolizes the united resistance to imperialism of all kinds.

Today’s non-violent demonstration was again met with excessive violence by the Israeli army. Sound bombs and tear gas were used, leaving four people directly injured by the canisters. The canisters were shot directly at the protesters, which is in violation with the IOF’s firing regulations. Many other activists suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Before coming to Bil’in, Israeli activists reported that police were present at their carpool meeting point. Their ID’s were checked and some cars reported they were followed by the police. At the Rantis checkpoint, they were delayed once more and activists were obliged to continue their journey by taxi.

Bil’in has reason to celebrate this week. Yesterday, preparations for the construction of the new Wall began, which returns 30 per cent of Bil’in’s land to the village. Iyad Burnat, Head of the Bil’in Popular Committee speaks of a victory: “We feel relieved and feel the non-violent resistance is successful in its aim. Nevertheless, we will continue our struggle against the occupation as Bil’in still has another 30 per cent of land that is confiscated by Israel.”

Next week Bil’in will have a special demonstration, celebrating five years of non-violent resistance and expects a large number of demonstrators. Bil’in calls for all its supporters to invite people to join in next week’s demonstration.