History and Articles:
Who We Are
Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) is a direct action group that was established in 2003 in response to the construction of the wall Israel is building on Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank. The group works in cooperation with Palestinians in a joint popular struggle against the occupation.
Since its formation, the group has participated in hundreds of demonstrations and direct actions against the wall specifically, and the occupation generally, all over the West Bank. All of AATW’s work in Palestine is coordinated through villages’ local popular committees and is essentially Palestinian led.
Why We Resist
It is the duty of Israeli citizens to resist immoral policies and actions carried out in our name. We believe that it is possible to do more than demonstrate inside Israel or participate in humanitarian relief actions. Israeli apartheid and occupation isn’t going to end by itself – it will end when it becomes ungovernable and unmanageable. It is time to physically oppose the bulldozers, the army and the occupation.
A Brief History
In April 2003, three years into the Second Intifada, a small group of mostly anarchist Israeli activists, already doing various political work in the Occupied Territories formed Anarchists Against the Wall. The group was established around the formation of a protest tent in the village of Mas’ha, where the wall was nearing and would leave 96% of the village’s land on the “Israeli” side.
The camp, formed by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists was composed of two tents on the village’s land which was slated for confiscation. A constant presence of Palestinian, Israelis and internationals remained for four months. During which, the camp became a center for information dissemination and a base for direct-democracy decision-making. A number of wall related direct actions were planned and prepared at the camp – such as the July 28, 2003 direct action in the Village of Anin. In that action Palestinians, international and Israeli activists managed to force open a gate in the wall in spite of being attacked by the army (See Haaretz article ).
Late in August of 2003, with the wall around Mas’ha nearly completed, the camp moved to the yard of a house in which was slated for demolition. Following two days of blocking the bulldozers and mass arrests, the yard was demolished and the camp ended, but the spirit of resistance it symbolized was not demolished.
In 2004, the village of Budrus began its struggles against the wall and AATW joined their daily demonstrations. Through its persistence in community mobilization, struggle and popular resistance, the village of Budrus was able to achieve significant victories.
Without appealing to the Israeli courts, utilizing only popular resistance, the village succeeded to push the path of wall almost completely off its land.
Budrus’ success inspired many other villages to build a popular resistance, which is perhaps an even greater success. For a good part of the year, almost every village to which the construction of the wall reached rose up against it. AATW joined every village that called for its participation.
More recently our actions have been centered in and around the village of Bil’in, northwest of Ramallah, where most of the village’s agricultural land is to be effectively confiscated by the wall and an expanding settlement.
Our Role in the Struggle
The mere presence of Israelis at Palestinian civilian actions offers some degree of protection for against army violence.
The Israeli army’s code of conduct is significantly different when Israelis are present and violence, while still severe, is significantly lower. Even though many Israeli activists have been wounded at the demonstrations, some of them seriously, it is the Palestinians who have paid the highest toll. To date, 18 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed in demonstrations against the wall and thousands have been wounded.
The army and the Israeli government try to put an end to Palestinian popular resistance using every form of repression, and to prevent Israeli activists from joining this struggle. Under the occupation’s law it is possible to indict people for simply participating in a demonstration. In the course of the last several years, AATW activists have been arrested hundreds of times and dozens of indictments were filed against them.
The legal repression by the Israeli authorities is just another front for the Israeli authorities to try and crack down on resistance.
In order to keep activists out of jail and continue the struggle, AATW is now faced with mounting legal expenses for its defense in the Israeli court. The cost for legal representation has exceeded US$60,000 and is constantly rising.
AATW does not receive funding from any state, government or association. We rely on donations from people all over the world that would like to see us continue to support the Palestinian struggle for freedom.