NYC, San Diego: Solidarity with Gaza
Published Jan 17, 2011 9:50 PM
Hundreds of people rallied in the Herald Square shopping center in
downtown Manhattan on Jan. 9 and then marched more than a mile to the Israeli
Consulate to commemorate and protest the vicious Israeli assault on Gaza two
years ago and the ongoing blockade of the small region’s 1.5 million
people. Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition initiated the march,
which many other organizations co-sponsored. During the weeks of bombing and
invasion that the Israeli military began on Dec. 27, 2008, more than 1,400
Palestinians died, including more than 350 children.
At the opening rally that lasted more than an hour, speakers from many of the
anti-imperialist groups in the New York metropolitan area spoke and called
attention to the growth of the worldwide movement in solidarity with the
Palestinian struggle. This growth has accelerated since the assault on Gaza and
the Israeli attack on the aid ship Mavi Marmara last spring, which awakened
many youth to the criminal nature of the Israeli state and its occupation of
Student organizations from Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges had representatives at
the rally, as did Jewish organizations in solidarity with Palestine. Speakers
also denounced U.S. complicity with Israel in all these crimes, as shown by the
Pentagon providing most of Israel’s weapons and U.S. diplomacy supporting
Israel in every United Nations vote.
Among the speakers were representatives of BAYAN and the Korean group Nodutdol.
Sara Flounders, a co-director of the International Action Center, also spoke.
Flounders had just participated in a solidarity trip to Gaza in a delegation
that included human rights leader Ramsey Clark. Clark and Flounders are
scheduled to speak at a report-back meeting on Jan. 19 at the IAC office. Larry
Holmes also spoke from the IAC. Workers World Party had a strong delegation at
the demonstration, where Workers World newspaper was distributed.
Organized by the San Diego chapter of Al-Awda, several hundred pro-Palestine
activists assembled in the city’s central park on Jan. 9 to mark the
second anniversary of the Israeli attack on Gaza, an atrocity which resulted in
the slaughter of more then 1,400 Gazans, overwhelmingly civilians.
Challenged by a larger Zionist mobilization, the Gaza supporters held their
ground, later conducting a march through the large park to reach out to Sunday
visitors. They then reassembled at the park’s fountain for a reading of
the names of the hundreds of Palestinian children martyrs who have been killed
by the Israelis during and since that attack on Gaza.
Following the reading of each name and the child’s age, the crowd
shouted, “Presente!” Al-Awda leader Zahi Damuni reminded the crowd
that the Israeli slaughter of Gazans is an ongoing massacre and we all have a
responsibility to find ways to challenge Israeli aggression and the support it
receives from the U.S. government.
Bob McCubbin, representing the San Diego International Action Center and
Workers World Party, announced the presence in Gaza of a U.S. solidarity
delegation led by IAC founder Ramsey Clark.
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