Friday, February 3, 2012

Music against the No Go Zone


by Rosa Schiano
31 January 2012 | il Blog di Oliva
Every Tuesday we demonstrate at the Erez border crossing, in Beit Hanoun, in the northern  Gaza Strip. The demonstration started at about 11:00 AM. We headed for the No Go Zone. The No Go Zone is an area taken by Israel that extends along Gaza’s entire northern and eastern border inside Palestinian territory. For all intents and purposes, the No go Zone imposed by Israel is illegal and prevents the farmers from working part of their lands. Those who enter the area are attacked by Israel with live rounds.
This week we brought with us musical instruments, small drums, and a trumpet. We marched into the No Go Zone raising our Palestinian flags, playing music, and singing Palestinian songs like “Filisteeni” and “Onadekom.” We marched on the land ruined by the Israeli bulldozers, we crossed big ditches using our hands in a vain attempt to not to fall down into the mud, and we arrived near the separation barrier. At one point, our music was interrupted by Israel firing live ammunition at us. We were speechless at the Israeli live fire. Silently we raised our arms in the sky. Silently we looked at the border. Silence fell on the land; we heard only the sound of the Israeli gunshots that are the sound of the death. They shot toward peaceful demonstrators armed only with flags and musical instruments.
They shot toward youth that have only their voices to ask justice and freedom for their land. But the Israeli soldiers don’t know our language; they only know the language of the violence.
After a short time, bravely, we started again to sing, challenging the Israeli gunshots. We placed a Palestinian flag near the separation wall and we stood there, singing and playing music. A group of youth started to dance the Dabka.
Then, near the flag that we placed, we started to sing Bella Ciao Una mattina mi sono svegliato, o bella, ciao! bella, ciao! bella, ciao, ciao, ciao! Una mattina mi sono svegliato, e ho trovato l’invasor…
One morning I awakened, Oh Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful, Goodbye beautiful! Bye! Bye! One morning I awoke, and I found the invader…).
As an Italian, I felt a strong emotion, singing this song with all my heart with the Palestinian people.
We came back home with a smile on our faces, the music gave us joy and strength; we will never give in to the siege. Last week, the Israeli soldiers attacked us with bullets and tear gas, tear gas between our feet and bullets over our heads. Yesterday we gave this answer to the Israeli bullets: the music of our small drums against the crack of their bullets.
We will keep demonstrating against the illegal No Go Zone, against the occupation, and against the siege. We’ll keep on demonstrating with the popular resistance, we will keep demanding freedom and justice for Palestine, we will keep on demonstrating for the right of the Palestinians to their lands.
Rosa Schiano is a volunteer with International Solidarity Movement.

Updated on February 3, 2012