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Poem: A Peaceful Protest

Friends of 15-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub, who was shot and killed by the Israeli army along Israel's blockade Gaza barrier, sit by his grave in a cemetery in Beit Lahia on 21 April, 2018 (AFP)
Roger Waters
17 Jul

Mohammed Ayoub (14) was shot dead by Israeli forces in April 2018 during Gaza's Great March of Return. According to Palestinian medical sources, Ayoub was standing with a group of protestors roughly 100-150 metres from the blockade perimeter when he was killed.

According to the UN, over 270 Palestinians were killed and 36,143 injured (over 8,800 children and over 7,000 with live ammunition) by Israeli forces between March 2018-December 2019. Palestinian poet Ahmad Abu Artema, whose vision inspired the  protest, described it as a "Scream for Life" from the 2.2 million Palestinians living under  siege in Gaza.

A few weeks ago when I was touring in Northern Italy, an IDF sniper killed Muhamad Ayub who was 14-years-old and peacefully protesting. I wrote this then:

A Peaceful Protest

Bologna, Sunday April 22nd 2018

Muhamad Ayub

The birds have stopped singing

A bell tolls

I could sit here, and wither and die

In this beauty.


On the train from Milan

I looked out over the Lombardy plain

Small farms, ordinary lives, peace.

I imagined dead olive trees and rubble.

On Friday Muhamad was fourteen

Now he is gone.

We cross a river

The massacre grinds on

I’d like to meet the man

Who taught the boy

Who pulled the trigger

His callous disregard.

I would spit on him and

Do no good

The birds have stopped singing

The bell tolls on.

Roger Waters
Musician and activist

Roger Waters is an English rock musician, singer-songwriter and composer. He co-founded and was the creative force behind Pink Floyd.