Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And the wall's come tumblin down...

Something went down in Jericho today. One of the roads was closed to Palestinians ("settlers and soldiers only", y3ani, VIP....) so today a parade of Palestinian cars tried to break the closure. It reminded me of the demonstration in Beitin last Christmas, when the village tried to walk down their road to Ramallah, which had also been given VIP, non-Palestinian status. Seeing the line of armed Israeli soldiers at the bottom of the hill, waiting for us, was a chilling image I'll never forget.

When I chaperoned the end-of-year Civil Rights tour for the school I worked at last year, we walked across the bridge in Selma and learned about Bloody Sunday, when demonstrators encountered a line of state troopers waiting for them on the other side of the bridge. Our students were asked, "what connections can you draw today? Is there anything you can think of that you would demonstrate for?" I scribbled furiously in my journal, but I didn't know how to express what was going through my head.

Today I thought of a song I heard at the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham. It went like this:

I'm taking a trip
On the Greyhound Bus Line
I'm riding the front seat
To Jackson this time.

Hallelujah, I'm travelin,
Hallelujah, ain't it fine?
Hallelujah, I'm travelin 
Down freedom's main line. 

Here's footage from today (by Haitham Al Khatib):