Freeze or I shoot – The resistant village of Nabi Saleh
Campagna di crowdfunding per la costruzione di un media center a Nabi Saleh, villaggio resistente in Palestina. “Living under occupation means being continuously exposed to human rights violations -new media can be a powerful weapon in showing the truth”.
Living under occupation means being continuously exposed to human rights violations -new media can be a powerful weapon in showing the truth. A small village of 500 inhabitants in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is challenging the Israeli occupation choosing nonviolent actions.
Nabi Saleh is very well known to be one of the most active resistant villages of the West Bank and an essential element of the Popular Struggle Committee. Since 2009, every Friday, it stages nonviolent demonstrations in objection to the expansion of the Halamish settlement, against the confiscation of Palestinian land and against the Israeli occupation in its whole.
The Halamish settlement was funded on private-owned Palestinian land which was subtracted to the village. There has been an attempt to take legal proceedings. In 1978, the Israeli High Court ruled that the confiscation was illegal and that the lands had to be returned to their rightful owners. However, as it often happens here, the decision was never enforced and the village continued to witness to land grabbing. In 2009, the settlers expropriated more Palestinian land which included the only natural spring of the area: ‘Ayn al-Qaws. Since then we are resisting in order to exist.
The popular struggle has chose nonviolence as a strategical mean, learning from the first intifada. It’s strength resides in the equality of responsibility, regardless the affiliation, the gender or the social class. Anyone can give their contribution to the struggle according to their skills.
Life under occupation
Living under occupation means being subjected to on-going violence and violations of the International Law.
We have to face daily incursions of the Israeli Occupation Forces during the which they shoot tear gas, rubber coated bullets and live ammunition. In addition to this, they endure to night raids, mobility restrictions given by the checkpoint at the entrance of the village and to collective punishments. The most common one is to declare the area ”closed military zone”.
In these last years, Israeli authorities have intensified efforts to suppress protests by increasing the brutality towards the protesters, by using weapons recklessly and by carrying out collective punishments towards the residents of those villages or towns where demonstrations are held. As Amnesty’s International reports in “Trigger Happy”: “Israeli forces have repeatedly violated their obligations under international human rights law by using excessive force to stifle dissent and freedom expression, resulting in a pattern of unlawful killings and injuries to civilians.”
The project – Freeze or I shoot
In such context, it is fundamental for us to be able to document on ourselves the events. Usually the official media in Nabi Saleh is present only during the Friday demonstrations, leaving the village without coverage during the week. Mediactivism is a powerful tool to expose the criminal acts of Israel and build an alternative narrative to the predominant biased one. This is why Nabi Saleh, since the beginning of its struggle, has funded a Media Centre named TammiPress composed by Mohammad Attalah (journalist and social network chief), Helmi Tamimi (photographer) and Bilal Tamimi, the eye of Nabi Saleh (videomaker).
However, to ensure the continuity of the popular struggle in a long term view, we realized that it’s necessary to train the new generations and actively involve them in the political activities in order to raise their awareness and to promote accountability amongst them. According to the willingness and the skills, we selected a group of young women who will be trained in order to develop citizen journalistic skills.
They will be taught to:
– identify the priorities and realize strategies according to the objectives
– shoot visual material: photos and videos; as well as write political reports and realize and conduct interviews while encouraging team spirit, political consciousness and accountability.
To do so we need to purchase:
– 3 coolpix s2700 Nikon – 500 shekels each – 106 euros each
– 2 Samsung HMX – QF30 – 1500 shekels each – 319 euros each
Total: 956 euros
In case your generosity allows us to get extra money, the latter will be used to buy other cameras or videocameras in the attempt to train even more people of the village.
These cameras will:
Provide ongoing documentation of human rights violations and expose the reality of life under occupation.
They are powerful tools in the fight against impunity. Footage provides evidence in legal proceedings, it challenges official denials of violations and reveals the army’s brutality. Often the visual images have helped to release Palestinians who were unjustly arrested or to condemn Israeli soldiers who used uncontrolled violence.
They will promote accountability amongst the participants and allow them to develop citizen journalistic skills in order to advocate and document their own reality, encouraging political consciousness.
Last but not least, it will develop creativity. A fundamental skill that can give strength and visibility to the ongoing struggle.