Palestine: Bicycling as Nonviolent Resistance

 

Nonviolent cyclists stopped by Israeli soldiers in Hebronby Jessie Smith, intern

On 28 June 2011, 60 bicyclists attempted to ride from Hebron to al-Bweireh to demonstrate that Palestinians must have freedom of movement on roads connecting them to their neighbors.  Palestinian participants in the demonstration live primarily in the  Hebron area and 20 internationals accompanied them.  Many people lined the streets, cheering the bicyclists along.

Near the first checkpoint, at least 15 Israeli soldiers and two police officers stopped the cyclists and refused to let them proceed.  Authorities also installed  razor wire to prevent anyone from crossing the blockade.  Soldiers claimed the area was a closed military zone, but could not prove that the paper they showed from a distance was current for that action.

After a long standoff and much conversation, the bicyclists eventually left, energized by their innovative resistance in the struggle to reestablish Palestinian rights.