[BLACK-LEFT] Let he who has not sinned cast the firststone; long term inversion

Charles Brown CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu Oct 19 12:33:34 MDT 2000

Another article on rock throwing politics.



Siding with Palestinians from the USA


by Mark Taylor

        Yes, that's right, "make" a rock.  Create it out of light-weight
material, paint it, and carry it high over your head into American streets.
Make it look like a rock and do this with many others.  Gather with your
rocks in front of Israel's consulates and U.S. administrative centers and

        Don't take real rocks.  That would just provoke U.S. police, already
willing to use their pepper sprays, tear gas, and guns on protestors.  No,
take your own carefully prepared rock - made of paper mache, cloth, plastic,
whatever.  Actually, real human creativity like this might also be
provocative, since those who use and depend on brute force often fail to
understand creative protest.  But we can contest and fight all brutal
forces, on America's streets or Ramallah's roads, with some feisty

        Ours may be "soft" rocks, but they can send a "hard" message to the
U.S.-backed Israeli military: our allegiance is strong for Palestinians who
have been given no way out of their daily oppression other than the drama of
rock-throwing.  We stand with them, as they challenge the illegal occupation
of Palestine by Israel, as they expose Israel's refusal to offer and
negotiate a State that extends full human and civil rights to Palestinians,
as they reveal Israel's practice of organized terror in Palestinian

        "Throw" your rock like a potter throws her clay, daring to act at
her potter's wheel, creating something to use, something born of the
imagination.  You can take a nonviolent way, while also supporting the
daring and drama risked by the Palestinian rock-throwers.  "Throw" your own
rock, throw your support behind them, here, in our own streets.

        Many dismiss Palestinians "slangin' rocks" as just so many angry
Arabs getting violent.  In is not just that.  It is also a relatively
non-violent acting out of anger, a creative drama that exposes the unjust
imbalance of power that has always existed between Palestinian peoples and
the Zionist program backed by European and U.S. powers.  The dramatic image
of the young Palestinian rock-thrower, born in the 1988 Intifada
("Uprising'), should not be romanticized.  These youth often paid the tough
price of lost limb, lost home, lost life. The image these youth sent out
into the global media, though, has helped form world-consciousness of the
Palestinians' plight.  Now, amid an uprising in 2000 that sees more
Palestinians dying in two weeks than did in the first two months of 1988's
uprising, we must support the Palestinian's high-risk drama with our own
productive creativity.

        "Throw" your rock.  Stand with the Palestinians.  Use your
imagination with them, and capture someone else's imagination for the work
of resistance, organizing, and diplomacy that all the world must do to bring
a real justice for everyone in the Middle East.

        Maybe we need to call again upon the "puppeteers" and "puppetistas,"
so visible at the demonstrations of corporate greed on the streets of
Seattle, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Prague.
Maybe the puppetistas not only can make rocks, but also can make them dance
and march in our cities, "rockin'" the streets with people who lift their
voices to the cause that the Palestinian youth expose.

        And for anyone who thinks the creative way of paper mache and
puppets is just too "soft," too weak a challenge to organized powers, well,
just remember how feared the puppeteers were by police and courts in
Philadelphia this August of 2000.  Officials in Philly assigned a $1 million
bail amount to activist John Sellers.  Why?  Because he was described by
them as a "real puppet master in a protest replete with puppets and other
theatrical agitprop objects" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/4/00).

        Let's have more "theatrical agitprops."  Agitate now, with your own
home-made "rock."  Send a strong message to the powerful today who would
demonize, stereotype and deny justice to the Palestinian cause.  Get
creative.  "Throw" your rock.
Mark L. Taylor
Professor of Religion and Culture
Princeton Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 821
Princeton, NJ 08542
(609) 497-7918
mark.taylor at ptsem.edu this piece last week.

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