The 48,000 march
The 48,000 march on Qalandia is a culmination of the efforts of all Palestinian parties and political groups in Ramallah and its neighboring villages.
We grouped up in front of the Am’ari refugee camp, and from the start it was obvious that this was massive. To be totally honest, we most likely did not reach 48,000 but it was massive.
The main goal of this march was an act of solidarity with Gaza, and to remind the occupation that we are one people. To remind the occupation soldiers that they will never be safe. We were supposed to break through the Qalandia checkpoint and march on Jerusalem. There is also a second point which makes the demonstrations tonight extra important.
I’m sure some of you are aware, that for us, tonight is Laylat Al Qadr, one of the holiest nights of the year for Muslims. It is also tradition that you should pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. So what did the only democracy in the middle east do? It closed down Al-Aqsa, and prevented most people from praying there.
There is usually around 500,000 worshipers in Al-Aqsa at Laylat Al Qadr, tonight, due to Israel, there is only 20,000.
The march itself was a sight to behold, you have people from every political group all walking together and chanting old Palestinian revolutionary songs. It was a point that nobody should bring any flags other than the Palestinian flag. There were so many, it was a sea of red, green, white and black. Everyone was swelling with pride as we poured towards Qalandia, around 6 KM away from where we began.
We ran into trouble very soon. I’m sure if any of you saw the Qalandia checkpoint, you’d know that it is a massive concrete fortress.
Before we even fully arrived at Qalandia, ambulances were already being heard. Israeli soldiers were shooting very very heavily in our direction. There was an abnormally high amount of hits in the waist and above. The first Martyr of the night, Mohammad al-Araj was shot in the head with live ammunition. They are shooting to kill and maim.
There are literally hundreds of injuries, a huge amount of them in critical condition. You will not believe the amount of ambulances buzzing by. You will not believe the amount of blood, the amount of gas, the amount of smoke. The Israelis were spraying bullets everywhere. There was nowhere for anybody to go.
We were unarmed. I repeat, nobody was armed. There was no threat at all to the soldiers. Unless having rocks thrown at their concrete towers and bunkers is what you’d consider “armed” resistance.
The clashes will continue unto dawn. Not only at Qalandia, brutal clashes have broken out everywhere. Especially Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus and Tulkarem. All of Palestine is rattling the chains of its shackles.
We are a people under military occupation. It’s our right, and our duty to resist. Gaza will never stand alone.
The blessed night of the 27th of Ramadan, the last Friday of Ramadan (which also happens to be Quds Day), and the start of the third Intifada are coinciding - may it be a blessed and the last one.
And so it begins.
the notebook problem: you see a notebook. you want to buy the notebook. but you know you have like TEN OTHER NOTEBOOKS. most which are STILL EMPTY. you don’t need to notebook. you’re probably not gonna use the notebook anyway. what’s the point? DONT BUY THE NOTEBOOK. you buy the notebook.
Urbanization Reading List
The following is a list of readings from my urban anthropology class last quarter. It was a Marxist perspective on urbanization and by far the best class I’ve taken so far. People have been asking about recommendations and I’ve been sending them the syllabus but I think it’s time I just publish this.
Mike Davis - City of Quartz [this book is phenomenal. If you read anything from this list, read this book.
Paul Wilis - Learning to Labor
James Ferguson - Expectations of Modernity [these two are rather ethnographic and very dense readings. They’re very resourceful but a little difficult to get through, especially Willis]
- On sociological approaches to urbanization: Louis Wirth, “Urbanism as a way of life”
- On fieldwork and the Chicago School: W Whyte - Street Corner Society
- On social exclusion in the formal economy Philippe Bourgois, “The Political Economy of Resistance and Self-Destruction”[very important read]
- On neoliberalism and capital accumulation: David Harvey, “The Right to the City” [this is a very, very, very good and important read]
- On the nternational politics of bottled water: Martha Kaplan, “Fijian water in Fiji and New York”
- On Global “scapes”: Arjun Appadurai, “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy” [also a very dense reading but it really goes into urbanization and provides very interesting persepctives]
- Tokyo and the tuna trade: Ted Bestor, “Supply-Side Sushi: Commodity, Market and the Global City”
- Zhan Zheng, “Mediating Time” [this was a beautiful read]
- Achille Mbembe and S. Nuttall, “Writing the World from an African metropolis” [great read on Johannesburg. Loved it.]
- Joao Biehl, “A life” [This moved me the most]
Re: that recent Jon Stewart segment on backlash for criticizing Israel on media.
I was feeling it until the end: The third time the people pop up to yell at him, they’re pro-Palestine folks yelling at him with all kinds of varieties of “free Gaza” and “free Palestine” etc. It was way out of line to compare because it tried to draw a false equivalence between the backlash from pro-Israel folks whenever someone criticizes Israel and the (non-existent) backlash from pro-Palestine folks for supposedly not bashing Israel enough. The two don’t compare. The former is a product of lobbying efforts and a culture in which literally every single thing Israel does is okay and the latter is a rational, human concern so to even equate the two is problematic. Yes, Israel should be criticized. A lot. If you get backlash for that, that should be called out too. But if someone says that your criticism isn’t broad enough or that you’re being too lenient, that is not the same thing as the pro-Israel backlash.
It goes back to making this into an issue that is even remotely even (I realize the 2:1 ratio and I don’t care, it’s not even the same kind of rhetoric, it’s apples and oranges).
The most ironic part is that in a piece satirizing the need to appease Zionists, Stewart had to appease Zionists by slapping pro-Palestine folks on the wrist too. If it was intentional, it’d make that piece art. But it’s not and this is what makes Stewart peak-liberal.
I made a post a couple of days ago mentioning MPAC and I was wrong about their stance regarding BDS. I said they didn’t support it but turns out…. They do…. When I’m back on my computer I’ll dig up some stuff to see where I got that from but until then, I stand corrected.
The best part of today’s pro Palestine protest in LA wasn’t the record breaking turnout of 3,000+ people who shut down the busiest street in LA to march to the Israel consulate…
It was the meager two Zionists who showed up, angrily shoved away the Palestinian flags from their faces and just were like, “dude where the fuck are they????” presumably referring to a counter protest that was planned but fell thru bc Zionists ain’t shit