Children Cry as Cops Clash with Clowns | International Solidarity Movement

International Solidarity Movement

1 October 2010

Al Ma’asara

On Friday afternoon, around 50 protesters, including some 10 international and Israeli activists, gathered in the village of Al-Ma’sara, near Bethlehem, to demonstrate against the theft of village land by the Gush Etzion settlement block. The protest was also a commemoration of both International Peace Day and the 10th anniversary of the Second Intifada. Soldiers and border police met the demonstrators with a cord laid across the road, saying that if the protest crossed the line, the demonstration would be forcefully ended. Continuing to chant, the peaceful demonstration proceeded forward and was met with a barrage of sound grenades and tear gas thrown by the soldiers.

After an hour and a half of intermittent assaults by the army and following speeches made by local protesters, the soldiers and border police left the area. Subsequently, two clowns from the ‘Boomchucka Circus’, a group from England, joined the villagers and supporters. They performed for the children there for about 15 minutes before the army jeeps returned, throwing and shooting tear gas at the group gathered around the clowns, scattering the crowd back towards the village.

Many suffered from severe tear gas inhalation, particularly when it was fired into yards and alleyways between homes, but fortunately, there were no serious injuries or arrests, despite the soldiers’ heightened aggression this week.

The village of Al Ma’asara has been holding weekly non-violent demonstrations since November 2006.

Member of Al-Ma'asara Popular Committee confronts soldiers

Member of Al-Ma’asara Popular Committee confronts soldiers

Children Cry as Cops Clash with Clowns | International Solidarity Movement.

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