Friday, January 8 2010
Protest in Sheikh Jarrah
The ninth weekly protest march to Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem set out from the Mashbir plaza in West Jerusalem, about 200 people strong. The marchers sang and drummed the whole way, passing out fliers inviting West Jerusalem residents to join the struggle of their Palestinian neighbors against the appropriation of their homes. After about an hour, the protesters arrived in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where tens of Palestinian activists from neighboring areas joined them.
The police prevented the protesters from arriving at the houses of the evicted families, blocking the protesters at the entrance to the neighborhood in a desperate attempt to prevent direct meetings between Palestinians and Israelis. But this did not stop about 20 children of Sheikh Jarrah, who didn’t pass up the chance to color and decorate with Palestinian flags four toy houses the protesters carried from West Jerusalem, symbolizing the four homes appropriated by settlers and police in the neighborhood.
The many new protesters, arriving in the neighborhood for the first time, received explanations regarding the situation from the residents, and promised to join the protest in the following weeks as well.
At around 4 p.m., after two and a half hours, the protest dispersed and about 50 protesters made their way past the police barricades in order to visit the Sheikh Jarrah residents and ensure that settlers were not planning an anti-Palestinian pogrom on this Sabbath as well. The activists remained until the late evening, enjoyed the neighborhood’s hospitality, and left only later in the night after there were no violent confrontations.