Photostory: Injured ISM activist Brian Avery returns home

On 5 April 2003, Israeli troops shot International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist Brian Avery in Jenin. Avery, a 24-year-old American citizen from Albuquerque, New Mexico, experienced serious wounds to his face after Israeli troops shot at him with heavy machine gun fire from an armoured personnel carrier (APC). On 14 June 2003, Brian finally returned home after months of hospitalisation, to be greeted by a crowd of 60 people that included family and well-wishers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina. Photos by Brooks de Wetter-Smith. Captions by Michael Brown.

Local peace activists turned out to welcome Brian Avery at the airport. Julie and Robert Avery expressed their appreciation to Senator Jeff Bingaman and Rep. David Price for efforts on behalf of their son.

Nonviolent American hero Brian Avery descends the escalator at Raleigh-Durham International Airport moments before being greeted by a crowd of 60 supporters. Working with the International Solidarity Movement, he was shot in the face in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on April 5, 2003 by the Israeli military.

Brian Avery has undergone three reconstructive surgeries and anticipates several more surgeries to repair the serious injury to his face. The former Chapel Hill High School football player lost more than 30 pounds. With his mouth wired shut, he is now looking forward to being able to eat his mother’s soups rather than hospital food.

Brian Avery hugs his mother Julie Avery. His mother greeted him, according to the News & Observer with “Hi, sweetheart. Oh, it’s so good to have you home.” Many in the crowd were moved to tears.

Brian Avery’s father, Robert Avery, holds a press interview at the airport.

Brian Avery’s mother, Julie Avery, speaks to television crews and a reporter from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Mary-Lou Leiser Smith, Coordinator of the Coalition for Peace with Justice, and Phil Jones, Coordinator for Peace 1st, welcome home Brian Avery. The Coalition for Peace with Justice (North Carolina), Peace 1st, (North Carolina), and Partners for Peace (Washington, DC) organized the welcome home. Their efforts were joined by those of several peace and justice groups, and Peggy Misch with the Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill. The News & Observer quoted Brian as saying, “As long as there’s this many people ready to support peace and justice in the world, we’re in good hands.”

Related Links

  • The Brian Avery shooting: When will we realise that there can’t be this many “accidents”? (5 April 2003)
  • International Solidarity Movement