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> In February and March 2016, nearly 35,000 Palestinian teachers initiated a
> series of strike actions across the West Bank. Classes were dismissed and
> students sent home as teachers marched through Ramallah’s streets and
> organized sit-ins in front of Ministry of Education field offices. Though
> short-lived, the strike had wide resonance as teachers utilized their
> waning social capital in ways they had not done since the second intifada,
> and encouraged members of other unions to organize industrial actions,
> particularly after the March 9, 2016 ratification of Social Security Law 6.
> *With all these complications, how do you see your role in social and
> political change?*
> It’s a tough and distressing question. Look, it’s obvious that we will not
> make the PA move by ourselves. We will not make any change unless everyone
> goes out on the street. As you see, 35,000 is not enough. The equation is
> now clear. According to the PA, you are either with us or against us. The
> PA has been relentless in its attempts to maintain power. At this point,
> our only option is civil disobedience.
> *Is this not a possibility?*
> I don’t know. The West Bank is so geographically fragmented, the
> checkpoints, the invasions. The occupation opens and shuts lines of
> communication as it pleases, and the PA considers itself as a body
> protected by the occupation. While we were on strike, PA officers told us:
> we are here to protect the PA, not the people. The division between the
> West Bank and Gaza will be the end of us. We divide ourselves up according
> to political faction now, who is Hamas, who is Fateh, etc. It is so
> destructive. We need to rebuild the connections between us, so we can be
> citizens of this cause.
> https://www.merip.org/mero/mero060518
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