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We Won’t Forget Rachel Corrie

Uprising on the Anniversary of a Death

en Español

By Alison Weir
Counter Punch
March 15, 2005

Alison Weir, the founder of If Americans Knew, is a freelance journalist who traveled throughout the Palestinian Territories in winter, 2001. She is the mother of a daughter born the same year as Rachel Corrie.

There is a quiet battle going on for the memory of a young woman who could have been my daughter, or perhaps yours.

On one side are those who would like to erase her from history; her actions, her beliefs, her murder. If they are unsuccessful at that, they will settle for posthumous slurs on her character, falsifications of her death.

Rachel Corrie poster

On the other side are those who feel her shining principles should be praised, her courage honored, her death grieved. On this side are those who believe that heroism is noble, bravery admirable, and compassion for others the most fundamental form of morality.

To those of us on this side, Rachel Corrie will never be forgotten. She was 23 when she was killed.

We won’t forget her young idealism, her sweet bravery, her needless death. And we won’t forget her beliefs, the third of which killed her: that good would triumph, that justice would prevail, that Israel would not kill her.

She was wrong on that last one. On March 16, 2003, two Israeli soldiers drove a house-crushing bulldozer over her twice crushing her into the Gaza dirt. With five other nonviolent human rights defenders, Rachel had been sitting in front of a family home in Palestine, pleading with Israeli soldiers not to demolish it. They didn’t (until later); they demolished her instead.

Her friends ran to her screaming. They dug her out of the dirt. One told me that Rachel’s eyes were open; her last words were, “My back is broken.”

Far more, of course, was broken. The day was broken, the universe was broken, her sister’s world was broken, her brother’s life was broken, her parents’ hearts were broken. All the things were broken that break when someone is killed.

In the past five years, thousands of Palestinian lives, days, worlds have been broken; hundreds of Israeli ones. We hear about the Israeli tragedies; we rarely hear about the many times more Palestinian ones; the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters and brothers who are killed and mutilated during all those wonderful periods of “relative calm” our news media lie to us about.

I wonder if we’ll hear about Rachel Corrie on March 16th, the second anniversary of her death. Israel, as with all those it kills, claims that her death “was an accident” or “was necessary for security” or that “she was a terrorist” or that “she was protecting terrorists!”... As fast as these Israeli fabrications are refuted, new ones are produced. Never mind that they’re self-contradictory – our complicit media never question.

What Israel says, our media repeat. What Israel demands, our government gives. What Israel wants, its well-greased lobby delivers.

Change is coming, however, and it is gathering momentum. People across the United States of every race, religion and ethnicity remember Rachel, and grieve her death. While Congress is intimidated into denying her parents’ right to an investigation of the American “ally” who murdered their daughter, people in towns throughout the United States are planning commemorations and future actions.

From across the country, slowly but steadily, there is the start of an American uprising. One by one, people are rising up community by community and town by town. We are deathly tired of gratuitous cruelty and rapacious creeds of violence, and we won’t stand by any longer.

We are reclaiming our nation, our principles, and our souls. We are the only ones who can do it.

We won’t forget Rachel.

And we won’t be stopped.

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Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli soldier driving a bulldozer.

1979 - 2003
On the 16 March, 2003, 23-year-old Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer. more

Thomas Hurndall
Tom Hurndall was killed by an Israeli sniper.

1981 - 2004
21-year-old Tom Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper on April 11, 2003. He died nine months later. more

Videos & Multimedia

Documentary – ISM Rafah - Solidarity Under Occupation

Nonviolent Protest in Bil'in, 4/17/09; Bassem Abu Rahme is Killed

3/20/2004 demonstration in Karbatha, Palestine – activists shot

View footage from 2/6/2004 demonstration at Georgetown University, USA

View footage from 12/26/2003 demonstration in Mas’ha, West Bank—Israeli activist, Gil Ne’amati, is shot

View footage from 11/9/2003 demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank

View footage from 11/9/2003 demonstration in Zbuba, West Bank

MORE footage from 11/9/2003 demonstration in Zbuba, West Bank

Related Articles

Irish Nobel peace laureate shot by Israeli military

'My son lived a worthwhile life'

Rachel Corrie: Myths and Facts

Swedish human rights worker viciously
attacked by Israeli settler

The Shooting of Brian Avery

Rachel’s Letters

More on Attacks on Internationals

The Death of Bassem Abu Rahme

Witness for the Defenseless

American priest and nun join Palestinian non-violent resistance in Gaza

Nonviolent Palestinian Resistance

The Palestinian Resistance: Its Legitimate Right and the Moral Duty

More Articles on Resistance

Additional Resources

Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance

Charter of the United Nations

Amnesty Report – Fear for Safety

Play – My Name is Rachel Corrie

Flyer – Rachel Corrie Cards

Poster – Rachel Corrie, 1979-2003

Poster – Tom Hurndall, 21-year-old killed

Booklet – Rachel’s Letters | en español

Congressional Resolution Expressing sympathy for the loss of Rachel Corrie – Not Yet Passed

Merchandise Commemorating Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall

Organizations

Americans for Middle East Understanding

End the Occupation Coalition

Al Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

International Solidarity Movement

Secular Peace Groups

American Muslims for Palestine

A Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)

More Religious Peace Groups

RachelsWords.org

RachelCorrie.org

TomHurndall.co.uk

Justice For James Miller

International Solidarity Movement


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