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Join the 2015 Freedom Ride
From 18th to 30th March, students, artists and activists from across Palestine and abroad will join residents in some of the key sites of oppression and resistance in occupied Palestine.
The Freedom Ride will start in Jenin and end in Jerusalem. The ride will include volunteer work, walks, interactive workshops, political actions and cultural events.
An ensemble of Palestinian actors and musicians will use Playback Theatre to give voice to accounts of daily life under Israeli occupation – political imprisonment, army and settler violence, home demolitions, the wall – as well as stories that underscore the rich Palestinian history of creative protest and sumoud (steadfastness).
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20/3 Nabi Saleh
22-24/3 Jordan Valley
Al Oaja, Fasayel, Samrah, Makhol, Al Hadedeye, Al Beqa’a
26-27/3 South Hebron Hills
Atuwani, Al Mofaqara, Umm Elkheer
28/3 Aida Camp, Bethlehem
Throughout the Freedom Ride there will be cultural events, open for anyone to join. Here is a preliminary program, more events will be added:
19/3 16:00 Jenin, Music with Al Kamanjati
20/3 17:00 Nabi Saleh, Intermedia play by The Freedom Theatre School
21/3 16:30 Bil’in, Playback Theatre performance by the Freedom Bus Troupe
23/3 14:30 Al Hadedeye, Jordan Valley, Playback Theatre performance by the Freedom Bus Troupe
24/3 Fasayel, Jordan Valley, Playback Theatre performance for children
26/3 All day Atuwani, Playback Theatre workshop*
27/3 All day Atuwani, Playback Theatre workshop*
27/3 17:00 Umm el Kheer, South Hebron Hills, Playback Theatre performance by the Freedom Bus Troupe
28/3 17:00 Aida Camp, Cultural event at Al-Rowwad Theatre
29/3 18:00 Jerusalem, El Hakawati Theatre Playback Theatre performance by the Freedom Bus Troupe
30/3 Afternoon Jerusalem, Cultural event
* An intensive training workshop with Larry Ng, graduate and committee member of the Centre for Playback (New York), artistic director of London Playback Theatre, member of True Heart Playback Theatre (London) and Encounter Playback Theatre (Hong Kong). He is a Practitioner member of the International Playback Theatre Network. The participation fee for Palestinians is 30NIS per day, internationals $30 per day, plus transportation to/from Atuwani if you are not part of the 2015 Freedom Ride. Email email@example.com to register.
Find more on the Freedom Bus blog: freedombuspalestine.wordpress.com.
The Freedom Bus project is an initiative of The Freedom Theatre that uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout occupied Palestine and beyond. Endorsers of the Freedom Bus include Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Judith Butler, John Berger, Peter Brook, Omar Barghouti, Ramy Essam, Maya Angelou and Mairead Maguire. Read more about the project.
March Freedom Ride 2014
– Resisting Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in Area C –
Press Release 17/2/2014 For immediate release
The Freedom Theatre, Jenin Refugee Camp
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During March 17 to 29, 2014, The Freedom Theatre’s Freedom Bus will embark on its annual March Freedom Ride in occupied Palestine. People from around the world and across Palestine will join residents of the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills, who are at risk of forced expulsion from their ancestral homelands. The March Freedom Ride will include interactive cultural events, workshops and guided walks. In communities subjected to home demolitions and settler violence, participants will also engage in reconstruction work and protective presence activity.
“The March Freedom Ride is important to us because it will enhance our resistance and spread knowledge about the every day struggle of the people of the Jordan Valley regarding water, infrastructure and electricity, as well as about the continuous harassment we face from the Israeli army and settlers”, says Rasheed Sawafata, coordinator of the Jordan Valley Solidarity campaign.
Inspired by the Freedom Rides of the Civil Rights era in the USA and Freedom Rides held in other parts of the world since, the Freedom Bus promotes cultural resistance and uses culture as a tool to give voice to life under occupation and apartheid.
A central feature of the March Freedom Ride is the use of Playback Theatre. A troupe of Palestinian actors and musicians invite stories from the audience and transform each account into a piece of improvised theatre.
The Freedom Bus has been endorsed by public figures such as Angela Davis, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Shirin Ebadi, Maya Angelou, Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky and many more (see full list).
Find statements by previous Freedom Ride participants here.
The 2014 March Freedom Ride is organized by The Freedom Theatre in partnership with Jordan Valley Solidarity and the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee.
The 2014 March Freedom Ride is supported by Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, BTNR France and Les Amis du Théâtre de la Liberté de Jenin.
The Freedom Bus, Jenin Refugee Camp, Occupied Palestine.
For immediate release
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Inspired by Civil Rights Freedom Riders, West Bank Freedom Bus sets off to visit region’s most besieged areas, promoting cultural resistance
From 23 Sept-1 Oct 2012, The Freedom Bus, an initiative of the Freedom Theatre, will embark on a historic and groundbreaking ride through the West Bank. Led by Palestinians, and supported by international allies, this project aims give voice to life under occupation. It comes amidst widespread social unrest in the West Bank.
The ride is inspired by the Freedom Rides of 1961 in the USA, which saw civil rights activists travel through Southern states challenging segregation, and the Australian Freedom Rides of 1964 and ’65, which raised the issue of indigenous rights. Embracing this radical inheritance, the Freedom Bus will promote cultural resistance using concerts, university seminars, Playback theatre performances, community visits, hip hop, and giant puppet shows.
The Freedom Bus uses Playback Theatre to give voice to life under occupation; the actors make theatre pieces based on real-life stories of Palestinians they meet on the ride. The Freedom Bus will visit some of the most besieged areas of the West Bank, including Nabi Saleh, where there are weekly protests against the confiscation of Palestinian land, and villagers suffer military violence from the Israeli army, Faquaa, where residents are denied access to water resources that irrigate Israeli fields on the other side of the dividing fence  and At-Tuwani, where villagers non-violently resist harassment from settlers and the Israeli army by continuing to work their land .
The ride will embark despite challenges over the last year; including continual harassment from the Israeli army  following the assassination of the Freedom Theatre founder Juliano Mer Khamis  and the ongoing imprisonment without charge of co-founder Zakaria Zubeidi . However, the Palestinian actors, activists, photographers, musicians and bloggers taking part in the Freedom Ride are determined to spread their unique brand of cultural activism throughout the West Bank.
Judith Butler, author, philosopher and supporter of the ride said, “The Freedom Bus ride represents the aspirations of the Palestinian people to be freed from an illegal occupation, to exercise rights of self-determination, and to demand justice after decades of oppression. The Freedom Bus ride represents as well the freedom of movement and a movement for freedom.”
Details and background info:
- The Freedom Bus: uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout occupied Palestine and beyond .
- The Freedom Bus is coordinated by The Freedom Theatre: a Palestinian theatre and multi-media centre based in Jenin Refugee Camp. A range of other Palestinian community based organizations and associations are involved in Freedom Bus initiative. [Website: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/]
Notes to Editors:
 For reports on unrest in the West Bank, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18695632
 An itinerary of the tour is available at: http://www.freedombus.ps/freedom-bus-itinerary/
3] Report on Nabi Saleh: http://www.palestinemonitor.org/?p=4441
 Report on Faquaa: http://thefreedomtheatre.wordpress.com/2012/03/
 See Human Rights Watch statement: http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/27/israelpalestinian-authority-theater-group-hit-both-sides
News reports of Juliano Mer Khamis’s assassination can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/04/israeli-peace-activist-shot-dead
 Press releases about Zakaria Zubeidi‘s death strike and imprisonment can be found here: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=279