[Pnews] Palestine - I Am A Warrior Prisoner
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 2 16:44:37 EDT 2019
I Am A Warrior Prisoner
August 1, 2019
I live in a very small territory of 365 square kilometers, also known as
the largest open-air prison in the world, located in colonized
Palestine. The prison guards are powerful oppressors, the enforcers of
“apartheid,” also known as Zionists.
These jailers keep us locked, except for the few times when they open
the door a crack and allow one of us to squeeze through. For more than
12 years, they have deprived us of reliable electricity, clean drinking
water and—the worst of all—hope.
Increasingly, we prisoners feel as if we are buried alive in a cemetery
for the living dead. We have two choices: stay put and die a slow death
from disease, war or desperation, or risk everything in a prison break.
Some prisoners, like my friend Mohammed Abu Shammala
actually succeed in escaping to freedom. But the jailers have powerful
allies spread around the world, intent on making life hard for those on
the run. They caught up with Mohammed in Turkey, sheltering in the
building in which he tried to make a new home along with other Syrian
and Palestinian refugees. The jailers’ henchmen hurled canisters of gas
into his room, forcing him to flee to safer space via the balcony—where
he slipped and fell from the fourth floor. He never emerged from his
coma, dying a week later. His family, still in the cemetery/prison,
wanted to bring his body home, but we all believe he is in a better
place. His tragedy has gone largely unnoticed. Prisoners’ deaths barely
register on the world stage.
It all began in 1948, when a people who once were inmates themselves
staged a massive prison break of their own. Free at last, they traveled
to a new land and built a prison of their own design. They got their
revenge by doing unto others what had been done to them. The original
residents of the “new” land were either murdered in their tracks or
chased into the newly designated prison, with the jailers slamming the
door shut with a satisfying clang. Today, 66 percent of the people
crammed inside were chased there from ancestral homes.
With stories of their own imprisonment passed from generation to
generation to keep the embers of anger and hatred alive, the jailers
frequently lash out with a mighty roar, fielding their lethal weapons to
kill prisoner leaders as well as random others who merely get in the way
by continuing to live.
Recently, those inmates who had the audacity to refuse to die decided to
no longer cooperate with their jailers in the hopes of mercy. They
gathered at the gates every Friday, shouting that it was time to return
to their homeland and struggling to break through the prison walls. The
jailers, not used to such insubordination from the masses, ordered
several of their number to shoot randomly, making it clear a massive
break would not be tolerated. Now that they had tasted freedom, the
jailers wanted it all for themselves.
Still, the prisoners keep at it, amassing every week at the walls that
contain them, raising their voices and risking their bodies in the hope
of being heard by those on the outside who still had hearts and morals.
Week after week, the prisoners came and shouted, then went back to their
graves only to escape again. It has been over a year since the
challenges began. Hundreds of the prisoners have been sent to early
deaths or maimed to the point they can no longer protest. But others
take their place, knowing they will die in the prison-cemetery if they
do nothing. Is there really any difference?
The prisoners know that others have fought the same battle and lost. But
many others have won. They have chosen to stand and fight. And now, some
of these warrior prisoners refuse the tantalizing mirage of a permanent
escape. They know the cemetery-prison could be a paradise on earth if
its walls were torn down. The land is their home, history, identity and
I am one of those warrior prisoners. I will never leave
my cemetery-prison until it is once again a paradise.
#GreatReturnMarch #GazaChallenge #PalestinianVoices
/~We Are Not Numbers/Days of Palestine/
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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