A Sea of Solidarity

Organizing for change! Volunteer Sue Piper tells us about an evening of togetherness across the internet.

It was a dark and snowy night. The wind was howling through the town and snow blanketed the ground in deepest, darkest Manchester, England. Huddled inside their homes protected from the storm, a host of sisters and brothers gathered around their devices waiting for the call…..

The hands of the clock ticked slowly towards the half hour. “Welcome to the meeting! Norma (chair of Manchester PSC) exclaimed. “A special treat awaits you this evening. We are so honoured to be hosting the Hands Up Project!” 

We were separated physically but the wonders of technology have united us.

Nick introduced the origins of the project and then we were transported to a different world…Three plays, two of which were live and direct from Palestine. 

First a video of a play entitled ‘An Exile inside a Home Country’. This was a moving and powerful story of  a young boy who visits his father in prison. Then secondly came a live performance of  ‘I Couldn’t  say Goodbye’, a dramatic and emotional account of a mother speaking to her dead son. 

The heartrending “Oh My Home”

Thirdly came the  live performance of  ‘Oh My Home’ -the tragic story of a family seeking refuge who had to flee on a boat and were lost at sea had audience members glued to their seats.

Comments of support and appreciation flowed into the chat box.

“Thank you Hands Up Project for this incredible evening!”

“What a a fantastic group of young girls- this will surely be the generation that will overcome..”

“The teachers should be so proud of their students confidence and ability to perform such plays in their second language”

“Wow! These plays are so powerful- what an amazing evening you have given us”

“Absolutely wonderful, keep going, you are not forgotten!”

Afterwards, the authentic voices of the teachers- Amal Mukherez and Haneen Khaled left us feeling impassioned and gave us a wonderful insight into the whole process of playwriting. 

The finale was a cacophony of applause from unmuted audience members. Claps, cheers and thankyous were bountiful and clear.

What a spectacular evening of drama , performance and discussion!

International solidarity is about many things: practical actions, political actions, protest, support and raising awareness. Sometimes it’s about just standing together. But mostly for me it’s about friendship. As the Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano said, “ Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person and we have a lot to learn from other people”

We all second that!

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