“Where are you from?” is an innocent enough question. But for someone who’s spent her whole life bouncing from place to place — and sometimes, without any home to speak of at all — it only leads to more questions.
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Majdi Mohammed/Associated Press
BILIN, West Bank (AP) — Residents of this Palestinian village have planted flowers in hundreds of spent Israeli tear gas grenades to honor those killed during their weekly protests against Israel’s West Bank separation barrier.
Mohammed Khatib, a village organizer, said Wednesday that the unusual garden is meant to show that life can spring from death.
Bilin has become a symbol of Palestinian protests against Israeli policies in the West Bank. The village’s struggle to regain land taken by the barrier was the subject of “Five Broken Cameras,” a documentary nominated for an Oscar last year.
Palestinians say the barrier, which cuts into the West Bank, amounts to a land grab. Israel says it’s needed to keep Palestinian attackers out.
The Bilin garden commemorates Bassem Abu Rahmeh, a protest leader who was killed in 2009 when a tear gas grenade struck him in the chest during a demonstration. Bassem’s sister, Jawaher, died nearly two years later, a day after a weekly protest during which villagers said she inhaled Israeli tear gas.
During West Bank protests, Israeli troops often fire tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and occasionally live rounds, portraying them as appropriate means against Palestinian stone throwers. - AP
Funeral for Islan “Rose” Nettles
Tensions ran high at the funeral for Islan Nettles, a transgender woman who was beaten to death by a group of men in Harlem last week. Her death tragically illustrates again the vulnerability of transgender people at the hands of heterosexuals.
The biological Mother of Islan barred some of the closest transgender supporters from the funeral including the woman Islan had been living with in the Bronx for the past five years. These transgendered people and their supporters felt even more marginalized not being able to say goodbye to their friend. In the end, the Mother allowed some of them in to the funeral but after much drama outside.