Some days ago the Palestinian flag was raised on the old clock tower in Akka (Acre). Tomorrow the Arch-fascist Marzel is planning to make a provocative visit to the Arab city, and under the guard of Israeli “security” forces call for the expulsion of the Arab residents of this old Arab city. The people of Akka are preparing for confrontation, saying they will not let Marzel spread his poisonous propaganda in their city. In between, they found the time today (19/11/2012) to demonstrate in support of their brothers and sisters which are being massacred in Gaza.
The Ghassan Kanafani youth movement is one of the nicest flowers of the Arab Spring to flourish in the 48-occupied Palestine. Less than a year ago the group was formed by local youth as a response to the failure of the local parties to do enough in solidarity with the Prisoner’s strike. Today they already initiated a demonstration that was joined by all the local Arab parties. The location was also symbolic – the old “Canon’s Circle” which they renamed Ghassan Kanafani’s Circle.
The new highway from Haifa to Akka, though not yet finished, allowed us to be in Ghassan Kanafani’s circle 10 minutes before 19:00, the scheduled time in the Facebook event. We expected to be bored while waiting. But as we arrived dozens of young people were already gathering around the circle with Palestinian flags and written slogans. And they just kept coming in…
There was a feeling of unity and strength. Many youth gathered in the center of the circle, posing with the flying flags, one very big with such a long pole to hold it that we were afraid it would hit some electricity cables. Others rotated the circle in a car with the Palestinian flag waving from the window, blowing the car’s horn.
The main block of demonstrators was on one side of the circle, with some youth shouting slogans and the mass answering them with loud voices. There was no need for a megaphone. The slogans were all enthusiastic support for Gaza, its people and its resistance. Old people like me would prefer more political slogans, but nobody would try to calm the Shabab. From time to time they will shout “Sha’abiye, Sha’abiye” – “Popular, Popular”, so you might think they are shouting for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – until they will clear things by ending the slogan: “Hazihi Thawra Sha’abiye” – “This is a popular revolution”.
After some time more people were gathering and it looks like the circle might be closed to traffic. There were few policemen around – I saw three police cars – and three of them came to speak with some of the older people at some distance from the demonstration to warn them… The response was not late to come: A few minutes later the whole mass moved from the circle – not to be dispersed but to start a marching demonstration toward the old city. As we passed near the police, the youth were shouting: “We are not afraid of confrontation” and the police turned their backs.
The demonstration entered the gates of the Akka Wall and moved by Al-Jazzar Mosque into the lanes of the old city. It passed through the market and marched past the fishermen’s port to the Old Khan. Arriving there, we found that the Palestinian flag was waving again at the top of the impressive clock tower.