Boston Coalition for Palestine shuts down Mass. Ave. Bridge


A massive rally in support of the Palestinian resistance in Boston’s Copley Square on Nov. 12 brought out more than 10,000 to demand, “Stop the genocide in Gaza!” and “End all U.S. aid to Israel.” The action was pulled together in four days by the over 30 organizations that comprise the Boston Coalition for Palestine, initiated in early October 2023 by the Palestinian House of New England.

Occupying the Mass. Ave. Bridge, Nov. 12, 2023. PHOTO CREDIT: IG @maliksadeddin

Mahtowin Munro of United American Indians of New England (UAINE) and Jean-Luc Pierite, President of the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), opened the rally with calls for international Indigenous solidarity, massive reparations, the right to return and land back for the Indigenous population of Palestine. “From Boston to Palestine, colonialism is a crime!” they declared.

Students under attack at Boston-area universities, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders, a Holocaust survivor and leaders of the Palestinian House demanded, “Lift the siege of Gaza,” “Cease fire now!” and that the U.S. and Zionist governments open the Rafah Crossing immediately to international aid.

Layan Alnajjar of Students for Justice in Palestine leading chants on Boston Labor for Palestine’s truck, Nov 12 2023. WW PHOTO: Steve Gillis

Layan Alnajjar of Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Connecticut emceed and, along with a powerful quartet of Palestinian women, led chants atop Boston Labor for Palestine’s sound truck. At the Copley Square stage, which was draped with the names of over 11,000 murdered Gazans, Alnajjar informed the crowd that, “We will no longer refer to Gaza as an open air prison, because the only criminals there are the occupiers. The U.S. and Israel have turned Gaza into a concentration camp.”

On swank Newbury Street — filled with tourists dining and shopping — marchers spontaneously stopped and sat down to disrupt business. Protesters displayed outrage in front of a Starbucks store for that corporation’s complicity with Israeli apartheid. “Starbucks, Starbucks what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?” they chanted. 

Despite the threatening presence of multiple jurisdictions of federal, state and city cops, marchers took all four lanes of the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, occupying and shutting down that major artery over the Charles River.

The final target was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where marchers took over the steps, grounds and street at its main entrance. They denounced the institution’s leading role in fueling the military industrial complex and the discriminatory suspensions of students belonging to the MIT Coalition Against Apartheid, who had occupied the administration’s offices earlier in the week.

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