Freedom Summer Palestine 2004

Members of the International Solidarity Movement confront an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah, Gaza. (Thomas Hurndall)

Freedom Summer Palestine 2004 is conceived to be 56-day campaign (one day for every year of displacement and dispossession) against occupation, whereby Palestinians mobilizing with the participation and support of their international supporters, will draw the attention of the world to the true nature of the situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Palestinian struggle is a just struggle for dignity, human rights and freedom.


Fifty-six (56) days of non-violent, direct actions by Palestinians and Internationals to promote freedom and justice for Palestine.

1. Coordinated in numerous areas throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

2. Coordinated with public awareness, media and promotional work.

3. Documented and reported daily, with press conferences held as necessary.

4. Training of local Palestinian volunteers in using technology to promote and document their struggle, and includes the donation of tools (cameras, computers) to local areas for such purposes.

5. International support through lobbying, educational and public awareness campaigns in US and Europe.

Freedom summer is based on the notion that International Civilians are a resource for Palestinians in their struggle against occupation and for freedom and justice. As such, teams of International Civilians will be stationed for the entire period of Freedom Summer in various regions throughout the West Bank (Jenin, Qalqiliya, Tulkarem, Nablus, Salfit, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron) and Gaza, if we are able to enter. They will be hosted by Palestinians and will work with local communities to protest and take direct action against occupation forces. They will also document and report on their actions and the various criminal actions of the Israeli occupation forces - incursions, home demolitions, arrests, etc.

At the local level, Palestinians will organize, train and coordinate a summer program of activities and actions to involve all elements of Palestinian society, and international supporters. Obviously not everyone is comfortable taking the same risks or participating in direct confrontations with soldiers, police and settlers. As such, local committees will determine various roles and levels of participation for all, so that there is “something for everyone.”

Campaign dates: June 25 - August 19, 2004

Two-day orientation & training sessions will be held once a week on Fridays and Saturdays and will be conducted by ISM trainers. The first training of the campaign will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, June 23 and 24. Following weekly trainings we will send groups of internationals to the various regions to join in local resistance activities. Once a week for the first 5 weeks, we will coordinate national actions that will highlight the policies of the occupation that deny Palestinians basic freedom: checkpoints, roadblocks, settlements, the occupier’s prisoners, and lack of freedom of religion. We will end the campaign with a 3-week march along the path of the wall, from Jenin to Jerusalem.

Freedom Summer is a mobilization of the Palestinian people for justice, for rights and for freedom. Like the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, India’s National Liberation Movement and the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, Freedom Summer will utilize nonviolent direct action strategies and tactics to overcome oppression. This is not a cause of Palestinian against Israeli or Arab against Jew - rather it is a cause of humanity against injustice, against oppression and for freedom.

Below is an outline of some of the larger actions that are being planned:

Press conference
Launching of freedom messages

Saturday June 26: WALL ACTION
Palestinians, old and young will simultaneously convergence at different points of the Wall, in actions designed to highlight to their oppressors and to the world the reality of their imprisonment.

Marches from various locations to military bases to demand release of political prisoners. In regions where there is no nearby military base, marches will head towards local offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The demonstrations will be preceded by a letter to the Israeli authorities alerting them to the fact that Palestinian families are on their way to visit their children.

Saturday, July 10: WOMEN’S ACTION
Women’s groups will coordinate women’s action to confront and challenge an aspect of the occupation through the mobilization of the females in Palestine.

Saturday, July 17: CHECKPOINT ACTION
Simultaneous demonstrations to checkpoints and removal of roadblocks in all regions.

We will organize convoys of busses from West Bank cities to Jerusalem for Friday prayer. Churches will be asked to organize Christian prayers on this day also.

Palestinians, internationals and Israelis will march along the path of the Apartheid Wall, beginning in the Jenin area and through cities, towns and villages affected by the wall, all the way to Jerusalem. We will organize with villages that we will be passing through, to coordinate receiving the marchers and joining the walk. Special accommodations will be organized for the villages where we hope to spend the night. The walk will be used to highlight the problems the wall is creating for Palestinians communities.

A NO BORDERS CAMP begins! Where Israeli bulldozers are trying to flatten Palestinian farmland for the path of the Apartheid Wall, activists will erect protest tents.

Join the Walk to Freedom!

On July 30th the people of Palestine together with Israeli and international supporters will march for three weeks along the route of the Apartheid Wall from Jenin in the north to occupied East Jerusalem, to give voice to their cry for freedom. We will march up to ten to twelve kilometers a day for a total of 200 kilometers. At night we will be hosted by Palestinian communities affected by the wall. In each village, community members will explain the impacts of the wall and other aspects of the occupation. In some villages marchers will carry out non-violent direct actions against the wall.

This non-violent march will expose the imprisonment of the Palestinians, the reality of life under Israeli military occupation. The Israeli authorities claim the Apartheid Wall is being built to separate Israelis and Palestinians. The march will reveal that the Apartheid Wall is being constructed deep within the Occupied Palestinian Territories, separating Palestinian villages and cities from their land and water resources. We will support Palestinians as they break barriers to their freedom and bring down the Apartheid Wall.

To date, approximately 100,000 trees have been uprooted or destroyed for the path of the Apartheid Wall. As of March 2004, over 8,000 acres of land have been confiscated for the first phase of the wall’s construction. In addition, fifty water wells have been confiscated or fall on the Israeli side of the wall. After the completion of the wall, approximately 43% of Occupied West Bank land will be de facto annexed to Israel. This land will be inaccessible to the Palestinian farmers who have tended it for countless generations, and will leave farmers without their traditional sources of income and imprisoned within their own communities. The wall enables the Israeli military to maintain the siege of Palestinian cities and villages. A complete siege has been in place since November 2000. This siege has devastated the Palestinian economy and made it impossible for many Palestinians to receive basic services such as health care and education. The wall is yet another stage in the campaign to dispossess the indigenous people of Palestine.

Come to the West Bank and join Palestinians, Internationals and Israelis in a peaceful march to reject both Israeli restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement and the Apartheid system that Israel is reinforcing through the wall.

Help give voice to the Palestinian cry for freedom. Join us on July 30!
For more information on the Freedom Summer Palestine 2004 Campaign, see or contact us at