Eye witness accounts from volunteers of the International Solidarity Movement
Tuesday 27th March
Last week, ISM activist Tom Woodhead’s violent arrest and deportation after attending a peaceful demonstration in the West Bank was widely condemned. Film maker Ken Loach said that his treatment by Israeli soldiers “should disgust all right-thinking people”. This Tuesday Tom will be giving his account of volunteering in the West Bank, along with Ruby who volunteered with the ISM last year.
The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation through non-violent, direct-action methods and principles. It supports the Palestinian popular resistance by providing international solidarity and an international voice. Volunteering with the ISM is a life changing and rewarding experience which allows you to learn about the history of Palestine and resist the on-going colonisations of Palestinian lands.
On a practical level ISM supports Palestinians by planting & harvesting olives and working land often considered dangerous for farmers to work on their own. Activists can teach English to children and escort children to and from schools in areas where violent settlement activity and arbitrary detention makes everyday trips difficult and dangerous.
Giving personal perspectives of life under occupation, Tom and Ruby hope to encourage people to volunteer in Palestine perhaps with the ISM. The two hope to give stories of success and hardship whilst volunteering in a place of conflict and natural beauty, giving a reflection on the true face of the occupation from an activist’s point of view.
Whilst Tom will speak of his arrest and “mock execution” and Ruby her assault by a violent settler in Hebron, both wish to convey the importance of international presence and the positive effects the ISM can have on Palestinian communities.