A small group of protesters in today’s protest at Qalandia marking the outbreak of the June 1967 war stood up in front of — and blocked — the “skunk spray” or “sewage water” machine that was hosing demonstrators with a revolting and persistently-smelly blue-colored water.
Photo by courtesy of the photographer, Mohamed Jaradat
Fadi Quran, one of coordinators of Manara Youth group protests
since the beginning of 2011 stands (with colleagues) with his hands raised
in front of IDF skunk spray machine
It was the first time the “skunk spray” machine was used at Qalandia. [It was used on Friday for the first time in a Friday protest against the Wall at Nabi Saleh… It sprayed some protesters, then it went into the center of the village and sprayed the streets and the homes, requiring a massive clean-up campaign.]
And, it was the first time Palestinian protesters in the West Bank used this tactic of non-violent resistance.
They stood there and took it.
They planned for it, they trained for weeks for this, and they did not run away as they were sprayed with the very foul-smelling liquid.
They stood there and allowed themselves to be coated, covered, with this notoriously disgusting stuff.
They blocked the machine from moving up the street, which is bordered with small businesses and small apartment buildings — and schools — and which cuts through the heavily-populated Qalandia Refugee Camp.
And, they won a small victory on an otherwise confusing and disappointing day: the “skunk spray” machine was ordered to retreat back into the protected military zone at the terrible Qalandia Checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.
It was a revolutionary change in the way checkpoint protests have been conducted until today.
Continue reading Tiananmen Square Moment – A new form of non-violent protest at Qalandia today: Standing up to the skunk spray machine