Iyad Burnat: Palestinian human rights leader Irish speaking tour (Oct 1 – 8)
The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign is honoured to host a speaking tour with Iyad Burnat, a Palestinian human rights leader, from 1st to 8th October 2016.
An award winning human rights activist, Iyad will describe what life is like under Israeli occupation, his village’s ongoing struggle for justice, human rights and freedom, and what inspires him to continue non-violent resistance. Born in 1973, Iyad Burnat is the head of the Bil’in popular committee and Friends of Freedom and Justice and will be a familiar figure to the many Irish who have travelled to Bil’in over the past number of years. In 2015, Iyad was the recipient of the James Lawson Award for Achievement in the Practice of Nonviolent Conflict.
He is also author of the book “Bil’in and the Nonviolent Resistance” (2016) and appears in the Oscar-nominated documentary film Five Broken Cameras. Copies of his book will be available at the talk and Iyad will be happy to sign them afterwards.
Mr. Burnat will speak in the following venues:
Sat 1 Oct – Cork: 3pm, The Palestine Information Centre, 18 Cove St
Mon 3 Oct – Ennis: 8pm, The Old Ground Hotel, O’Connell Street
Tue 4 Oct – Waterford: 7:30pm, Soma Contemporary Gallery, 6 Lombard Street
Wed 5 Oct – Dublin: 7pm, The Academy Plaza Hotel, 10-14 Findlater Place, D1
Thur 6 Oct – Dublin TCD: 2pm, The Global Room, Fist Floor, The Hamiliton Building, Trinity College Dublin
Fri 7 Oct – Killea: 7pm, Killea Community Hall, Killea, Co. Donegal
Unfortunately, due to the British state refusing a visa to Iyad, he will only be able to travel in the south of Ireland, so we had to cancel the talks in the north and organise others at short notice.
Bil’in has been at the forefront of the non-violent resistance to Israel’s illegal Apartheid Wall and policies in the occupied Palestinian territories, and has held weekly Friday demonstrations of locals, Israelis and international activists since 2005. During the course of the struggle its residents have faced severe repression at the hands of the Israeli, including frequent night raids and detentions (including of children). At least two people have been killed, and scores injured, during the Friday demos.
In June 2011 Bil’in’s activists scored a major victory when it was announced that the wall in Bil’in, which was stealing some 480 acres of village land to accommodate the illegal Israeli colonial settlement of Modi’in Illit, would be partially rerouted (four years after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered it to be).
While continuing to fight for the remaining 1350 dunams (330 acres) that are effectively annexed to the settlement of Modi’in Illit, the Bil’in Popular Committee announced a new strategy of building community and public buildings on lands that were given back as a way to assert their possession of them.
The regained land is designated as Area C, over which Israel retains complete control of both security and administrative matters. Due to this fact, it is nearly impossible for Palestinians to receive building permits in area C. Palestinian structures built without permit in Area C are often demolished by Israeli authorities and are almost never retroactively whitewashed. In contrast, illegal and unpermitted settlement construction is often retroactively issued the required construction permits, as was the case in the Matityahu East neighborhood of the Modi’in Illit Settlement, which was built on Bil’in’s lands.