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The Arrest and Convictions of My Favorite Anarchist

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eileen fleming
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I first met Jonathan Pollak, an articulate, creatively committed, passionate, tattooed secular Jew and one of the Founders of Anarchists Against the Wall/AAtW in the USA during an AAtW traveling road show in November 2005. AAtW is a nonviolent Palestinian grass roots movement that nonviolently opposes the building of The Wall in Palestine where ever it does not follow the Green Line.

Palestinians direct the nonviolent activities and are supported by an ever increasing presence of Israeli and International peace and justice activists.

I met Jonathan again in the West Bank village of Billin in November 2006, during one of the two year long every Friday afternoon ritual marches against The Wall-which in Billin is an electrified fence [ Read More: Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ' Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory: Chapter 5: Anarchists Against The Wall ]

Jonathan has been beaten, shot with rubber bullets and arrested numerous times for standing up to the authority of the Israeli Army. He was arrested again on February 18, 2007 and convicted along with 10 other activists for blocking a road in Tel Aviv in protest of the construction of The Wall.

Jonathan informed the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court to sentence him to jail time, rather than community service or a suspended sentence, because he has no intention of halting his resistance against The Wall and the Occupation of Palestine, which has entered its 40th year.

While the other ten convicted activists were sentenced to 80 hours of community service, Pollak remained adamant in his dissent and publicly stated, "From the first moment of this trial we took responsibility for our acts. We've never denied, even for an instant, that we sat on the road. Quite the opposite - we fully admitted this, and we explained why we did so. The defense was revolved around two central axes -exposing the police's lies and their invention of fictional accusations, which the court has already addressed, and on the principles of civil resistance.

"In its decision, the court stated that we were attempting to drag this court into the political arena, which it should avoid like fire, lest it get burned.

"In fact, the state prosecution was the one doing the dragging. In every crime and in every trial, the question of motive is a central one. Our so called crime is clearly a political one, and so are its motives.

"This trial, had it not taken place in a court of the occupation, in the democracy imposed on 3.5 million Palestinian subjects devoid of basic democratic liberties, would have been the trial of the Wall; that same wall that was defined as illegal by the highest legal authority in the world; that same wall that is used as a political tool in the campaign of ethnic cleansing being undertaken by Israel in the Occupied Territories; that same wall that in its previous route, that route of the relevant days, was thrown out even by Israeli courts!

"It was not us who should have been standing accused here, but rather the architects and enforcers of Israeli Apartheid.

"To our assertion that there is a duty to violate the law at times, the court answered that in such times, one must accept the punishment as well. This response contains an obvious moral failure. The correct response would be that those who violate the law must expect punishment. Expect it, but under no circumstances accept its legitimacy.

"I am not surprised that we were found guilty. But in spite of that, I cannot accept the legitimacy of the punishment. That is the reason I refused to cooperate with the parole agency, and I will refuse community service as well.

"I believe that at this stage of the trial the defense tends to state that this is the defendant's first conviction, that he is a normal human being, who is well within the bounds of civil society, that he works a steady job and so on and so forth. I will argue otherwise.

"I will state that while this is indeed my first conviction, it is unlikely to be my last.

"I still believe that what I did was necessary and morally correct, and that resistance to oppression is the duty of every human being, even at a personal price.

"It is customary to ask for leniency - not to impose an active sentence, and to be satisfied with a conditional sentence. I will ask not to have a conditional sentence imposed on me, but an active one, since as things are, any demonstration taking place in the Occupied Territories is declared illegal assembly, according to the extensive and anti-democratic system of closed military zone warrants. In this state of affairs, any conditional sentence imposed upon me will quickly become an active one."

Looking directly at the Judge, Pollak stated, "If your honor believes one should be sent to prison for such acts, please take the liberty and personally send me to prison here and now."

Afterwards, Pollak affirmed that while he is not surprised by his conviction, he does not recognize it as legitimate and that is why he refused community service or cooperation with the probation authorities.

The state prosecutor immediately responded with a request that Pollak be denied a prison term and instead receive a conditional sentence and a fine.

"The judge did not grant Pollak's request and sentenced him to a 3 month suspended sentence which will be imposed if Pollak is convicted of illegal assembly in the next two years. The judge stated that he avoided imposing a fine because he knew that Pollak will not pay it."-Haaretz

Anarchy is best understood as Rebellion against UNJUST laws.

The Yang [male positive force] of anarchy resists authority and causes disorder and is socially and politically incorrect by the norms of the status quo for it seeks the higher ground of justice.

The Yin or feminine passive force of anarchy births a new order out of the chaos and chaos is creativity in action.



Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ' Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory: Chapter 5: Anarchists Against The Wall

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
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