FREE GAZA MARCH FOR HUMANITY
It occurred to me that people might be interested in a similar project I explored six years ago.
I proposed a massive march mostly composed of older participants, since I felt we had a particular obligation. I also felt that such a march could be especially effective.
I wrote an essay announcing it, a colleague created a website, and we found numerous groups and individuals willing to co-sponsor it (with one major exception, which I describe at http://alisonweir.org/journal/2009/12/12/some-history-behind-the-gaza-freedom-march.html).
Below is the short piece I wrote for it:
March for Humanity
In September 2003 hundreds of American elders of all ethnicities and backgrounds will march on Israel in a nonviolent quest for human rights, for global peace and stability, and for a reversal of the world’s wild drive into an ever-darkening future.
They will be joined by others from around the world determined to fulfill their obligation to their consciences and to their children, and by an equal number of Israeli citizens seeking an end to their government’s violent oppression of their Palestinian sisters and brothers.
Together, this group of peaceful marchers – who have decided that in the final third of their lives they will, briefly, trade comfort for discomfort, security for inconvenience – will join together to save innocent lives that would otherwise be lost. With their reading glasses and stiff knees, graying hair and sore feet, this peace brigade will march on behalf of justice for Palestinians, peace for the world, and the end of a brutal and brutalizing system for Israelis.
For almost three years the Palestinian people have been pleading for an international presence to decrease the tragically escalating violence. Such an international presence would have saved lives of both Israelis and Palestinians, would have left children walking today who will now be forever crippled, would have left mothers happy who will now forever grieve.
Israel and the United States, however, inexplicably blocked the United Nations from providing such a life-saving body. But then, from around the world, individuals – some old, most very young – began to flow into Palestine to fill this need. They did what the world should have done, but didn’t, and some of them were beaten, imprisoned, maimed, and, finally, killed. Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall took the place the world should have filled, and paid with their lives for our negligence.
Now we have decided that it is our turn. No more will we allow our children’s courage to dwarf our own, our children’s vision of a compassionate world to be crushed by the forces of evil that we have feared to oppose. It is our time to step forward, and we will not be crushed.
Let the Israeli military – blithe destroyer of small bodies, breaker of young bones, crusher of sweet spirits – face a battalion of seasoned senior soldiers, veterans of life, survivors of youth.
Let the Israeli military – who so courageously crushed young Rachel, who with such bravery shot 21-year-old Tom in the back of the head, who with such skill daily train their American-supplied sniper scopes on ragged, rock-throwing children — let this valiant vanguard of violence now face a thousand nonviolent marching mothers, fathers, grandmothers and aunts, as the world’s cameras roll and history’s note-takers look on, ready to transcribe Ariel Sharon’s attempt to stop the unstoppable.
Let the world – and particularly the American public – finally awake to our responsibility, and to our power. Let us bring an end to this carnage. It is long past time, and no one else will do it.
Please join us.
“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”
- Edmund Burke
If Americans Knew
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