On June 5th, and 6th, in remembrance of Naksa day, and the complete occupation of Palestine, including the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, the Stop the Wall group in the Netherlands launched a national project entitled, “Stop the Wall Caravan!” The project aims to create a toolkit for local Dutch organizations to use when mobilizing against the Apartheid Wall, and contains such materials as photos, banners, flyers, posters, fact sheets, model press releases, lists of potential speakers and contacts, and more. These materials will form the basis for a “lending library” that local organizations can draw from, and the organizers hope to be able to make it accessible to all 12 provinces in the Netherlands within 2004.
To launch the project a two activites were held to highlight some of the materials available, and to help raise public awareness about the current situation in Palestine, and the crimes being perpetrated by Israel with the Apartheid Wall. Two activities were organized over the 5th, and 6th, one, an information stall located in a busy marketplace, and the second a photo exhibition located in a popular city landmark called “de Burcht.” The photo exhibit used photos, maps, and text from the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign archives, and both events were well attended by the general public. In conjunction with these two events, a local artist, Jan Willem Bruins, know for painting poems on walls and buildings in Leiden, painted a Mahmoud Darwish poem on a symbolic Apartheid Wall.
Not only was the launch of the Stop the Wall Caravan! a success, it also allowed the group to enlarge its membership over the two days, and forge stronger ties with the Palestinian refugee community in Leiden. The organizers hope they can build on this success, and are able to convince the people of the Netherlands of the injustice of the Israeli Occupation, and the criminality of the Apartheid Wall.