Training took place about 12 hours for 2 days in the Meeting Room of the Retno with three beautiful young Palestinian men. Here they were, confronted with 13 women, some of whom could be their grandmothers, and a noisier, more serious group we couldn’t be. We started with one, slim, intense, with raccoon eyes, and beret. He was joined later by a second, larger, with a doughboy body and wire-rimmed glasses. He ran a tight ship, a stern (but loving) teacher with a class of unruly 7 year olds. It was wonderful. Ghasson Andoni, founder of ISM, gave a history of the region and conflict; it was terrific (and I didn’t tape it!).
We had role plays, weapons identification, and the works. Exhausting and frightening, too, although our trainers (”our boys”) were so direct and fearless. The Brooklyn contingent arrived – Doreen, Stacey, and Carol, from Amsterdam. It was so exciting to see them – seemed so long since we were last together; very emotional. After the last of the training, in weapons protection, we were all so wired, we just milled around outside the hotel before going to bed. Our first action is coming up! Very nervous! Now I know how Jeremy Hardy felt!