Giving The Israelis A Piece of His Mind

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You should note the arrival of these (in sequence): the tear gas canister that hits Tristan, the medics (in 'Red Crescent', not 'Red Magen David' uniforms), and the arrival of *subsequent* tear gas canisters on top of the medics.

Veteran Bay Area activist Tristan Anderson was critically injured Friday during a protest against the building of a separation barrier in the village of Naalin on the West Bank, according to a friend from San Francisco.

Kate Raphael, who said she has known Anderson for six years through their mutual participation in local peace rallies, said he was hit with a tear-gas canister fired by Israeli armed forces and suffered a large hole in his forehead.

Raphael said Anderson, 38, who has lived in Oakland the past several years and previously lived in San Francisco, was one of the tree-sitters who protested the University of California at Berkeley's plans to tear down a grove of trees so it could build a new sports training facility next to its football stadium.

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack said in a telephone interview that he was with Anderson when he was hit with the tear-gas canister.

Pollack, who said he has known Anderson "for many years," said Anderson was hit from "a pretty short distance" by a powerful new type of tear-can canister that can shoot up to a distance of 500 meters.

Pollack said Anderson was struck at about 4:30 p.m. local time toward the end of a lengthy protest that had started about noon.

He alleged that Anderson "was shot for absolutely no reason" because he wasn't threatening anyone and the group of protesters had dwindled from about 400 people to about two dozen people.

Anderson's skull was fractured and some of the bone fragments entered his brain, Pollack said.

Anderson underwent surgery to have part of his frontal lobe removed and it "went relatively well," said Pollack, who was at the Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv to monitor the surgery.

However, Anderson is still unconscious and "his life is still somewhat at risk," Pollack said.

The International Solidarity Movement is one of the groups that participated in the West Bank protest today.

Raphael said Anderson isn't closely involved with the group but knows people in the group.

Raphael said she was closely involved with the group but hasn't been as active in recent years.

Although Raphael said she has known Anderson for about six years, she said she doesn't know what he does for a living.

Pollack said Anderson has been in Israel and the West Bank for about a month and participated in other protests before the one today.

Israel began building the barrier in 2002 after an outbreak of Palestinian violence and it has been a source of controversy and protest ever since.

Supporters say the barrier is a necessary tool to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombing attacks.

But opponents argue that it is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land and violates international law.

Anderson came down from his perch in a tree near UC Berkeley's football stadium on June 19 and was given a stay-away order but was found near the tree the following day.

Attorney William Simpich said Anderson, who used the nickname "Cricket" during his tree-sitting days, resolved the civil case that the university filed against him by pleading guilty to contempt of court charges.

In return, the university agreed not to seek legal costs or jail time from Anderson and other tree-sitters who accepted the deal, Simpich said.

Anderson and the other protesters had to pay fines and perform community service.

Simpich said Anderson has fulfilled all his legal obligations and he was planning to document that in writing next week.

Simpich said he was shocked to hear that Anderson was seriously injured Friday.

Anderson also faced misdemeanor criminal charges for his tree-sitting activities but Simpich wasn't involved in that case and the attorneys who handled the case weren't available for comment today.

Tristan Anderson Critically Injured in Demonstrations Against Israeli WallOn March 13th, 2009, Tristan Anderson, from Oakland, California, was critically wounded in the village of Ni'lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a high-powered tear-gas canister. Tristan is a dedicated activist and reporter who has long been committed to social and environmental justice in the U.S. and abroad in places such as Oaxaca, Iraq, and Palestine. Tristan has posted his reports to Indybay since 2001. 

As a result of his injuries, Tristan Anderson, 38 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and had been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a serious injury to his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on. 

"Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500 meters," reports Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) with the International Solidarity Movement. "I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed." 

Tristan Anderson was shot as Israeli forces attacked a demonstration against the construction of the annexation wall through the village of Ni'lin's land. Another resident from Ni'lin was shot in the leg with live ammunition. Several other demonstrators against the wall have been killed or rendered brain dead as a result of IDF use of rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition in the villages of Ni'ilin and Bil'in. 

Other ISM activists killed or injured by Israeli forces: Rachel Corrie, killed by a bulldozer in 2003; Brian Avery, shot in the face in 2003; and Tom Hurndall, shot to death in 2004. 

American citizen critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces in Ni'lin

Updated Press Release follows

For Immediate Release

13th Friday 2009, Ni'lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni'lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.

Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated ... Continue reading

I think he needed this like a hole in the head.

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This page contains a single entry by writch published on March 14, 2009 5:58 AM.

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