Any of us

“If any of us had our lives and welfare completely strangled, lived with children in a shrinking place where we knew, because of previous experience, that soldiers and tanks and bulldozers could come for us at any moment and destroy all the greenhouses that we had been cultivating for however long, and did this while some of us were beaten and held captive with 149 other people for several hours – do you think we might try to use somewhat violent means to protect whatever fragments remained?” Rachel Corrie

I’ve genuinely run out of new things to say on this sad anniversary of Rachel’s death, and my natural trend toward the more objective reality of existence seems to necessitate that this line from her journal’s is the one that surfaces to the top. There are a lot of other things she wrote that are much more hopeful, but to me, this one is continually essential. Regardless, I generally resurface it each year, and encourage people to continue to think of it in terms of Gaza, as well as the steadily increasing number of places and contexts where humans are finding novel, efficient and innovative ways to mechanise tyranny against other humans.

Razan Zaitouneh was abducted in the Damascus suburb of Douma, along with her husband and two colleagues, by unknown individuals on 9 December, 2013. She recorded this message and sent it to FIDH on 4 December 2013.