Sunday, December 28, 2008

Latitudes of Platitudes

From protest to protest
from march to march
our brains in our mouths
our hearts in our pockets

we will give ,
till it doesn't hurt
and shout
till it doesn't rattle

and a slumber
will be lifted
at a time inopportune

and the people shall be sorted
and the scales will be tipped
and regret shall have no virtue

for the ones who spoke
but didn't do

Inverted Reality (more from the archives)

Inverted Reality

'Raise the alarms- Truth has been captured
It was taken across the boarder last night'
Alert the media-
Integrity was caught in crossfire
'Collateral damage' they said.

A freedom fighter by any other name
would smell as sweet
Colonisation dressed up in democracy
will be exposed

'Insurgents of reason are causing unrest'
'Let missiles of liberation silence them'
Defence is aggression
Aggression ... defence
War will bring peace-
It's a pre-emptive strategy

'Breaking news: Truth has
been assassinated,
dragged through the streets and spat on.
Its innards exposed
It's difficult to recognise.'

Morality is impotent
Aggression spreads its seed
Something is amiss-

a reality inverted

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Palestine Memories

In trying to enhance some solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Palestine, I dug up some archives, a piece from my trip in 2005.

With our hearts , with our souls, we will defend you Oh Aqsa... really ?

Today is the first day that we go to work in the villages. I realise that I've left my passport at home. Apparently the first rule of international travel is – always keep your passport and money on you(I'm a novice). I don't think that I've been this stressed out ... If they stop us at any of the checkpoints, I could have real problems.

As we pass the checkpoints .. my autonomic nervous system kicks (heart starts beating ,palms start sweating, mouth goes dry ...). Maybe on some small level I'm getting a glimpse into what the Palestinians feel like , having to move around with identity documents (like the'dompas' that we know) , being asked to produce it at the whim of some nineteen-year-old soldier. There are fundamental differences though –I have international immunity (for whatever that's worth) ,this isn't restricting my movement in my own country and I definitely don't have to do this everyday.

I'm thinking about a conversation with Ebrahim yesterday : " but freedom of movement is a basic human right, " he said in disbelief.

Disbelief ...

Hard to believe that all this is happening in our 'civilised world.'

Last night we watched a video showing how the wall surrounds certain towns almost completely.The only access in and out is through security gates manned by soldiers. Then too, you need a valid permit only issued for specific reasons.

According to the elders of the village that we are passing, the well that Prophet Yusuf AS was thrown into, is located here. So much history ... so beautiful ... so tense.

We pass Ar-Rabi military base .

there are military towers jutting out across the landscape . It's so out of place.
We're almost there.

We did some painting at a school in the Tulkarem district. Sometimes I think that we do some volunteer work just to make ourselves feel better. Doest it make a real difference? probably not ... but you sure do feel great afterwards.For the group though ,it was a real bonding experience.

We're on the way back and we're passing another checkpoint. The Palestinians tell us to sing and clap just to provoke the soldiers.It's a really small act of defiance, but why not...

These checkpoints are a humiliating reminder to the Palestinians that their land is being occupied. Also a reminder that I don't have my passport.

Rationality, history... everything... shows that oppression won't last forever. The question here is – how long will it be and what will it take for it to crumble?