Rally Planned to Honor Cal Tree Sitter Injured in Israel

Friends say victim responded to a stimulus test Sunday morning

Friends of a Bay Area activist who was critically injured while demonstrating in a village on Palestine's West Bank have organized their own demonstration in downtown San Francisco on Monday as a show of solidarity.

Friends of Tristan Anderson, former tree-sitter at the University of California at Berkeley, and supporters of Palestine will gather at 4 p.m. Monday outside the Israeli Consulate at 456 Montgomery St. in San Francisco, said Kate Raphael, a fellow activist and friend of Anderson's.

"Our intent is to give people a chance to talk about Tristan, to focus on the people who have been killed from that village and honor the resistance that continues," Raphael said.

Anderson was injured Friday evening while protesting construction of a separation barrier in the Palestinian village of Naalin on the West Bank, according to friends. An extended-range tear gas canister weapon fired by Israeli military forces hit Anderson, friends said, fracturing his skull and causing major trauma to his face.

He underwent surgery in Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv, to have part of his frontal lobe removed and remains hospitalized, although the friends organizing the demonstration said he responded to a stimulus test Sunday morning.

"He moved two fingers, so we know he's not brain-dead," Raphael said.

An online update signed by Anderson's parents and sister says Anderson is under 24-hour monitoring and "receiving the best possible care." 

Anderson, 38, has lived in Oakland for several years, attended UC Berkeley and previously lived in San Francisco.

Raphael said Anderson was one of the protesters who lived in trees near UC Berkeley's football stadium to resist the university's plans to tear down the grove so it could build a new sports training facility. During that time, Anderson was known as "Cricket."

He has been in the Middle East for about a month.

Raphael said Anderson traveled to other parts of the Middle East before because he is interested in archaeology, but this is his first time in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

She said she expects Palestine solidarity organizations, Arab community groups and Jewish groups to attend Monday's demonstration.

"Certainly everyone who knew him personally is making an effort to be there," she said of Anderson. She said she expects at least "a couple hundred" people to attend.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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