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Sami in Palestine: Don't Mourn, Organize!

This is a transcript of an email/listserv diary that a local Portland avtivist, Sami, is keeping from occupied Palestine.

[ Sami Updates List Serv I International Solidarity Movement ]

Hi everyone,
Sorry for the high volume of emails I am sending right now, I am having some down time, so I am taking this opportunity to write a lot. I will probably not write again for a little while. I know there are some of you who are new to the list, and I wanted to offer that if you want me to send you the backlog stuff that you missed, email me and I can update you. I will also be consolidating them and distributing them when I return, so you will have more opportunities to read them. A couple of people have asked how they can get involved in my support network. You can inquire to Tony at Liberty Hall at selfdefensepdx@riseup.net. There isn't a whole lot that I need right now, but I would encourage you to organize Palestine solidarity actions and events in your own community. That is the best thing you can do for me.

Nov. 5
We had a dance party in the apartment while cleaning up before going on a tour of the old city. We had an opportunity to see the clinic of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. Since it is so difficult to get access to medical care, they have made their own clinic. We saw some of the places that were bombed by Israel during the April 2002 invasion, and all the homes that were desroyed by soldiers during the invasion and since. They tended to target the soap factories because Nablus has been known for its soap making for thousands of years. There is a sense that they are trying to destroy Palestinian national heritage because part of erasing a people means erasing their history. There wasa home that had been destroyed, and they found 8 bodies close to the door. An entire family, including small children, a pregnant woman, and grandparents. Apparently the army had told them they could leave, and them blown up their house before they had a chance. It is utterly astounding how much has been rebuilt considering that the city has been on lockdown since 2002. They save the bricks and use them over and over.

Nov. 6

I learned last night that the three alleged fighters that were killed the other night were killed by Special Forces dressed as Palestinians, as a couple with the woman in a full burka, and as a man selling sweets for Ramadan. The other day I was in the internet cafe and some 19 year old boys were being so friendly that I couldn't concentrate. I said, "hold on, I am writing to my family and friends in America about Palestine." He said with a giant smile, "Oh okay good, tell them 'No peace until we can return to our homes.'" I said okay.

Something I have been thinking about a lot, is how times wwhen someone in our own community has died, what a big loss that is. Everything stops for a while. It sends a shock through the community. Here 5 or 8 or 29 people could be snuffed out on any given day. Maybe they will turn into a news blurb and get picked up by AP. Maybe not.

Thats all for now, take care of yourselves, and don't take eachother for granted.
love, Sami