The Green Brigade have been working on a project that will bring youth from Aida and Deheishe refugee camps in Bethlehem, Palestine to play football in this year’s annual Anti-Racism World Cup in Belfast.
The idea behind the project is to challenge the restrictions and barriers imposed by the occupation and give young people their first chance to travel outside of Palestine and experience the solidarity that other communities demonstrate. In turn, the youth will bring their experiences of day to day life living under a brutal occupation.
Both camps are routinely attacked by Israeli Occupation Forces, men, women and children taken from their homes and unlawfully interrogated and imprisoned, all the while being surrounded by the 8 meter high concrete apartheid wall. Children are denied the right to play, constantly reminded of the threat of rubber coated steel bullets, tear gas, skunk water, sound grenades and live ammunition.
In normal circumstances, bringing young people to play in a football tournament from another country would be relatively easy. However, stringent visa restrictions designed to control movement make it extremely difficult for Palestinians in the West Bank, especially refugees, who are routinely denied visas to travel abroad. We hope to use football as a means of breaking through these barriers.
For this to happen we will need the help from the Celtic support to once again show their solidarity with those who face oppression. Please give whatever you can to help fund visa, flight and accommodation costs for the Palestinian youth.
Ways in which you can support Bethlehem2Belfast; • CSC sponsor a player: Each CSC to fund a player will have their name featured on the players strips • Donate what you can via paypal account: [email protected] (remember to send as a gift) • Come along to one of the upcoming fundraisers which will be announced shortly