In The Line of Fire

I don't know if you remember the Berkeley "tree sitters" who sat in a grove of trees that needed to be removed on order for UC to expand its athletic facilities. It went on for 21 months with plenty of theatrical posturing by the professional protesters who "occupied" the trees. Now one of them has been seriously injured in another protest in, of all places, the West Bank: Ex-Cal tree-sitter hurt in West Bank protest

An Oakland man who was among the tree-sitters who fought to save a grove of oaks and redwoods next to UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium was critically wounded Friday in the West Bank by an Israeli-fired tear-gas canister, officials and acquaintances said.

Tristan Anderson, 38, was injured during a protest over the separation barrier that Israel erected between it and the West Bank. An Israeli soldier fired the canister during a clash with protesters and hit Anderson in the head, said Ulrika Jenson of Sweden, an activist with the International Solidarity Movement.
It's hard to know if this guy was naive or what. His girlfriend claims they went to the West Bank because he was moved by the human rights situation there. The article won't say so, but I will note that the International Solidarity Movement is an organization that helps organize visits to the West Bank by western activists who want to end the "occupation" of Palestine by the Israelis. And by "occupation" they mean every scrap of land upon which Israel sits. See here for the ISM's travel tips, including how to lie to Israeli guards and the like. 

It's incredible how these professional protesters use the same sort of rhetoric regardless of their target. For Anderson, UC Berkeley was as much an "oppressive" capitalist power as the state of Israel. It's also amazing to me that they seem to be able to travel the world and show up in all sorts of hot-spots - whether a grove in Berkeley or a hillside in the West Bank - without any obvious means of support. But, these guys always seem to have an outsize impact in the media, transforming the goofy UC Berkeley into a "Pillager of the Earth" and the democratic Israel into an "apartheid state" with little more than a handful of activists willing to act out in a Theater of Resistance.

And, for all the talk of Israeli oppression, I think anyone reading about this should know that Anderson is being treated for his injuries by Israeli doctors in Tel Aviv. Maybe he wants to end the occupation in every part of "Palestine," except his hospital room.

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