[Video] International Women’s Day Protest at Qalandia
From the moment we arrived at the International Women’s Day protest at the Qalandia checkpoint, we could’t hear ourselves think.
The Israeli Defense Forces had already activated a sound bomb- a loud, persistent and painful noise that feels like a hammer pounding a nail into your eardrum. They were already launching tear gas canisters into the crowd and “skunk water” was being sprayed (a putrid, carcinogenic liquid with a smell that won’t leave for weeks).
We soon realized that our plan to shoot many interviews with women wasn’t going to happen.
They cried out for an end to occupation- an end to checkpoints, night invasions, movement restrictions, indiscriminate killings, racist ID cards, mass incarceration, daily humiliation, and statelessness. They chanted for the release of Hana Shalabi, an administrative detention detainee who has been on hunger strike for 30 days.We followed the sound of singing and came upon a group of women holding signs and raising their fists.
They chanted for dignity. Respect. And justice.
It’s this resilience which continues to astound me.
Even while the reality of occupation slaps them in the face constantly, even while hope seems to be a futile act whose promise has betrayed them countless times before, Palestinians continue to live, to resist and most courageously in my opinion, to hope.