Friday, March 20, 2009

Cambridge University:

Student demonstration for Tristan Anderson, shot in the head by Israeli soldiers.

Photo: "Students hold a vigil for their injured friend at the Guildhall, in Cambridge."


"Student vigil for friend shot in protests"

In the CAMBRIDGE NEWS (Cambridge, U.K.)

March 20, 2009, at:

CAMBRIDGE University students are holding a vigil after a close friend of one was shot in the head in the West Bank.

Dozens of students gathered outside the city's Guildhall at 5pm yesterday (Thursday, 19 March) as activist Tristan Anderson fought for his life in a Tel Aviv hospital.

The 37-year-old American is a close friend of a Darwin student, who cannot be named.

He has been at Tristan's bedside and will return to the West Bank to continue the protest against the wall built by the Israelis.

Tristan was critically injured on Friday when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister at his head at the close of a weekly non-violent protest.

He underwent brain surgery on Saturday, and parts of his right frontal lobe and shattered bone fragments were removed.

Jessica Wheeler, who organised yesterday (Thursday, 19 March)'s vigil, said: "Our friend, who makes documentaries, has shown us films he took of Tristan. We are all very angry about what has happened and are holding this vigil to show how we feel about what has happened to Tristan and to Palestinians.

"The International Solidarity Movement and other activist groups join with Palestinian people in the village of Ni'lin on Friday every week to protest peacefully against the wall and against land and house confiscations.

"Tristan's injury is really serious and it is not yet known if he is paralysed.

"His injuries resulted from a tear gas canister being fired straight at his head.

"They are supposed to be used for crowd dispersal - which means firing them into the air, not directly at people."

Tristan's partner, Gabrielle Silverman, was with him when he was hit.

She said: "We were at a demonstration against the wall in the West Bank village of Ni'lin, which is about 26 kilometres west of Ramallah.

"I was very close to him when he was shot. I was only a few feet away. The demonstration had been going for several hours. It was wrapping up; it was almost over. Most people had already gone home.

"He was taking pictures and he was shot in the head with the extended-range tear gas canister.

"I should mention nothing was happening immediately around us, by the way. No one was throwing rocks around us. Nothing was happening. We were standing there."

This latest protest comes a month after 100 students, angry at Israel's invasion of Gaza, occupied the Cambridge University law faculty for six days...