Saturday, May 2, 2009

ISM Freedom Summer 2009: Defend the Land and Jerusalem

Dear friends,
please find below the call by the ISM for their Freedom Summer Campaign in Palestine.

To find out more, please visit their website at

in solidarity,

The International Solidarity Movement is issuing a call-out for internationals to volunteer as field activists and office workers in the West Bank, Gaza, and occupied East Jerusalem this summer.

Whether you can come for only few weeks or several months, your presence is needed to support Palestinian communities who are nonviolently resisting the Israeli occupation. Freedom Summer 2009, which will run from June 6th until August 15th, aims to challenge the continued theft of Palestinian land for the rapid expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and their infrastructure in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Volunteer training sessions will be held every week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Visit our “Join Us in Palestine” section to read more information about volunteering.

Below are some of the actions ISM volunteers can anticipate this summer:

1. ISM volunteers will stand in solidarity with the Palestinian families of occupied East Jerusalem who face dispossession.

International activists will join families in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, Shu’fat, and other neighborhoods whose residences are threatened, in resisting evictions and demolitions with non-violent, direct actions methods. ISM volunteers will also participate in demonstrations against discriminatory Israeli policies and support ongoing organization of Palestinian heritage and cultural events.

2. In the West Bank, volunteers will join Palestinian villagers in nonviolent demonstrations against the Wall, and other apartheid infrastructure of the occupation such as checkpoint, settlements, and Israeli-only roads. Activists will be working in communities such as Ni’lin, Bil’in, Jayyous, Husan and Tulkarem to support direct actions under Palestinian popular leadership. Recently Israeli military violence during nonviolent demonstrations has escalated, making it more important that international solidarity activists are present to help deter and document the repression from Israeli forces. Additionally, volunteers will accompany farmers and shepherds to deter violence from the Israeli military and settlers. In the South Hebron hills, the army’s designation of large areas as military closed zones will be challenged.

3. The ISM volunteers in the Gaza Strip will continue to accompany Palestinian farmers who frequently face live fire from the army as they work their land in the buffer zone. Volunteers will stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza against the crippling siege and sporadic attacks on the region. Several ISM activists will be joining the Free Gaza Movement’s Hope Fleet that will sail into Gaza’s port at the end of May. International activists will mass on the Egyptian border with Gaza between the 22nd of May and the 14th of June, in an attempt to challenging the ongoing closure and isolation of the people of Gaza. Individuals interested in volunteering with ISM Gaza must have previous experience with ISM in the West Bank.

Come to Palestine to support the Palestinian people in their struggle against occupation. Become an eyewitness to the Palestinian struggle for freedom! ISM volunteers have become better advocates for the freedom and self-determination of the Palestinian people in their home communities.
This summer, support and participate in the Palestinian non-violent resistance to the Occupation by using direct action methods to defend the land of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Israeli occupation forces invade Nil'in village and uproot village olive trees
11 February, 2009 - Video by ISM Palestine

About ISM

Who We Are
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of activists in August, 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international protection and a voice with which to nonviolently resist an overwhelming military occupation force.

Why ISM?
Occupation is not going to be defeated by words alone; occupation, oppression an domination are going to be dismantled the same way they were erected — through people’s action. The Israeli army and the Israeli occupation can be defeated by strategic, disciplined unarmed resistance, utilizing the effective resources Palestinians can mobilize — including international participation.

In April 2002, with help from Palestinians, international activists were able to outmaneuver the Israeli military during two of its biggest military operations, entering and providing support to those trapped inside the Presidential Compound in Ramallah and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. More recently, ISM has supported strong Palestinian-led, nonviolent resistance movements against Israel’s Apartheid Wall in villages like Budrus and Biddu. In these villages peaceful community marches have succeeded in altering the Wall’s path and even stopping Wall construction.

International participation is important for a number of reasons:

1. Protection: An international presence at Palestinian civilian actions can ensure a degree of protection for Palestinians engaged in nonviolent resistance.
2. Message to the mainstream media: The Palestinian struggle is not accurately reported by the mainstream corporate media. The mainstream media portrays Israelis and Palestinians as two equal sides who can’t live together fighting over a piece of land, instead of an Israeli military occupation and a Palestinian struggle for freedom, self-determination and human rights. People from all over the world that join us can reach out to their respective media and help dispel this notion.
3. Personal witness and transmitting information: International civilians joining Palestinians can bear witness and return home to talk to their communities about what is happening.
4. Break isolation and provide hope: The occupation isolates Palestinians and cuts them off from the rest of the world and from each other. International ciivilians coming in, despite restrictions, send a message to the Palestinian community - "we see, we hear and we are with you." Hope that people acting together can change things is a cornerstone of our philosophy and message.

Internationals with the ISM are not in Palestine to teach nonviolent resistance. Palestinians resist nonviolently ever day. The ISM lends support to the Palestinian resistance to the occupation and their demand for freedom through the following activities:

* Direct Action - challenging crippling checkpoints and curfew, confronting tanks and demolition equipment, removing roadblocks, participating in nonviolent demonstrations, accompanying farmers to their fields and protecting families whose homes are threatened with demolition.
* Emergency Mobilization - escorting ambulances through checkpoints, delivering food and water to families under curfew or house arrest, assisting the injured or disabled to access medical care and walking children to school.
* Documentation - documenting and reporting to local and international media about the daily life under occupation and the countless human rights and international law violations by the Israeli military.

Get Involved

ISM offers many ways for you to get involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom. Whether you’re thinking of traveling to Palestine to work with us, or you’d like to work to educate your community about the reality in Palestine, we welcome your involvement.

The ISM is not an organization, but rather a movement which all organizations, groups and/or individuals who agree our principles can join. The ISM is based in Palestine and is led by Palestinians on the ground. Many ISM support groups around the world assist the ISM by dissemenating information, recruiting and training individuals to join us.

To join the ISM in Palestine, you must adhere to the following principles:

1. Belief in freedom for the Palestinian people based on all relevant United Nations Resolutions and international law.
2. Using only nonviolent, direct-action methods, strategies and principles to work towards our goal.

The ISM is non-hierarchical. Actions on the ground are ccoordinated with the larger Palestinian community and moved through a core group of committed activists. The core group is open to all activists, Palestinians or otherwise, who make a commitment to ISM’s work and take on coordinating responsibilities. The ISM uses consensus decision making in all of it’s activities.

International volunteers who join the ISM are responsible for paying their own way and covering all their expenses in Palestine. The ISM does not receive any funding from any state, government or association. We rely on donations from average people all over the world that support peace and the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

Support groups abroad fundraise to help activists who need assistance to come to Palestine. In Palestine, we use our funds to coordinate work on the ground — communications, transportation and legal fees are our major expenditures.

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