Tag Archives: peaceful protest

Lights 4 Liberty – We Are One

Raging Grannies Lights 4 Liberty
I found the Lights 4 Liberty protest in downtown Manhattan an hour after my train arrived at Penn Station. Couldn’t get near the center but I connected with the Raging Grannies, the Quakers, and many others. Lots of speeches, songs, and then a gigantic roar in unison when everyone held their candles up high.
NYC 2019

Lora in Manhattan

A man volunteered to take my photo, and then asked me where he could get a pin like the one on my hat. I gave it to him. It says “End Israeli Detention of Palestinian Children“!!!

Thanks to social media and email, I learned about similar protests occurring at the very same time around the world. Friends from northern New Mexico, Albuquerque, El Paso …. and even in Barcelona, Spain …. were uploading photos.
People gathered worldwide to demand the end of the inhumane detention and treatment of our neighbors who are seeking asylum. Our candles and lights reminded me of the iconic Statute of Liberty just a few miles from where I stood.
Barcelona protest

Barcelona, Spain

I was struck by how the world is so connected. A handful of people in northern New Mexico, hundreds and thousands in cities everywhere, all coming together with a common purpose — to demand that our leaders treat our neighbors seeking refuge with dignity and respect.
I saw people of faith, and people who don’t practice a religion. I saw old and young. I saw people from various political backgrounds (Socialist Democrats to Responsible Republicans). I saw lawyers, trauma therapists, students and others.
Northern NM protest 3

Northern New Mexico

On the way to my friend’s house in Brooklyn after the protest, my Uber driver and I started talking. He’s an immigrant from Turkey, a journalist who feared for his life. He said he believed in President Erdogan’s leadership until 2010 when he started putting journalists (and others) in prison. Erdogan has been in power since 2003.

We talked about the signs of fascism around the world, mentioning Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Venezuela and now the USA.  We both agreed that powerful people like to hold on to power, and they won’t give it up unless the masses take the power from them.  He told me that the USA was a beacon of hope because power is handed from one to the next peacefully every four or eight years. I said I feared the coming 2020 elections in the US because if President Trump loses, would he declare it a fraudulent election and hold on to power under emergency measures?

Lights 4 Liberty 4

Then I remembered all of the people gathered everywhere this evening for a common purpose, and I realized that people power will prevail. We Are One! 

Not only are people coming together but the issues are merging. Separating children from their parents and holding “others” in military detention is the same whether it happens at the US-Mexico border or in Israel-Palestine.  We Are One!

There may be some who support fascism wittingly or unwittingly, but the energy and power rests with those with open minds and hearts to the goodness in each other and in the universe. I’m optimistic!

 

 

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Filed under nonviolent resistance, Peaceful, Uncategorized

‘Five Broken Cameras’ elicits passionate response

I first saw the Palestinian film “Five Broken Cameras” in 2012 and wrote about it last year when it was up for an Oscar. My earlier post is here.

Israeli soldier shot directly at the camera

Israeli soldier shot directly at the camera

Tonight there was a free screening of the film at the Friends meetinghouse in Albuquerque. I wasn’t going to attend. I’ve seen it once. What more could I get out of it the second time around? But I wanted to encourage my friends to see it and decided to go to support the organizers. I was curious to see who would show up.

A good size crowd (35-40) but nearly everyone had gray hair. Not sure how many in the audience were Quakers and how many were visitors, but I always worry when I see an audience where the average age is 65.

If you haven’t seen Five Broken Cameras, I encourage you to find a screening nearby, purchase it on Amazon or check out Netflix.

This second time around, my focus was drawn to the Israeli soldiers and how they were responding to the peaceful protesters.  Week after week after week. Every Friday for five years and counting. Why? What type of training are these soldiers receiving and what orders are they hearing when they respond to unarmed men, women and children with tear gas and rubber bullets?  And why is the U.S. taxpayer supporting this, to the tune of $3 billion each year?

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Do leaders in Israel and the U.S. really believe bullets and armor tanks are any match against protesters who are peaceful, nonviolent, and who are determined not to be bullied off of their land? It’s no match. 

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The Israeli soldiers may know how to uproot centuries-old olive trees but they haven’t a clue how to uproot these Palestinians in the village of Bi’lin.

The film was difficult to watch in spots. Following the screening, an audience member stood up and showed us some of the spent tear gas grenades and other projectiles that he had picked up off the ground during a visit to Bi’lin. He shared some of his observations of the Israeli military in a factual and dispassionate manner, but he elicited a vociferous response from a woman who took offense at his “one-sided” presentation. He said he was only sharing the side that the U.S. media fails to share and most Americans don’t know.

I listened carefully as the moderator redirected her outburst and tried to hear her “side” but she didn’t share another side. Although she appeared angry and disturbed, she was actually agreeing with the points made by the gentleman. I suspect that her anger was genuine but misdirected. Maybe upon some quiet reflection, she will realize that her anger can be channeled towards some positive actions, such as the  growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Five broken cameras

Five broken cameras

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Filed under Israel Defense Forces, Peaceful, Video