Thousands March for Palestine in Chicago, tell U.S. to stand with the oppressed
Nearly 4,000 people took to the streets of downtown Chicago to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and call for an end to the Israeli aggression and its occupation of Palestine, according to organizers.
The march was organized by the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine, a broad coalition of groups supporting Palestine, which includes American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Chicago Islamic Center, Palestinian American Community Center, Palestinian American Council (PAC), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-Chicago, and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN).
The demonstration began with a moment of silence to commemorate Palestinian martyrs who had lost their lives in the struggle against the Israeli occupation, then members of the coalition spoke about the current atrocities taking place against the Palestinians living in the occupied territories and Israel.
Deanna Othman from American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) said that “AMP asserts the Israeli occupation of Palestine is at the root of all violence and bloodshed and that the current upsurge in violence can not be viewed outside the context of the occupation.”
Many also connected the struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestine with the struggle in Black communities against police violence urging the crowd to support both struggles equally.
The organizers also spoke about the unresponsiveness of the U.S. government and urged attendees to educate themselves about what is going on in Palestine and to call their representatives and the White House about the inhumane acts b currently being carried out by the Israeli State and Israeli settlers.
Once the speeches finished, the crowd began marching north on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago chanting “we support the intifada,” “not another nickel, not another dime, to support Israel’s crimes”, and “free, free, Palestine.”
The rally was part of a larger movement to show international solidarity with the uprisingcurrently taking place in Palestine against the Israeli occupation with protests also taking place this weekend in London, New York, and South Africa.
The recent uprising of the Palestinian people has taken place in response to immense political and racist violence by both the Israeli state and Israeli settlers including violent beatings, attacks on whole villages, and shootings. This violence has resulted in the murders of 42 Palestinians so far this month, including Muataz Ahmad, Hajis Uweisat (age 16) and Fadil Qawasmi (age 18) leading many to call for a third intifada.
Photos by Ahmed Hamad