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2000 march in Chicago, stand with Gaza

By staff

Hatem Abudayyeh speaking at Chicago rally in solidarity with Gaza.

Chicago, IL – 2000 people marched in the streets here, Nov. 19 chanting, “Obama, Obama, you will see – Palestine will be free!”

Organized by a coalition of Palestinian and Palestine solidarity groups, this was three times as large as the emergency protest held in Chicago on Nov. 15.

The protest and march was overwhelmingly composed of young Palestinians – college and high school aged youth. They were both grief stricken with the deaths of the people in Gaza and, at the same time, the march was militant in its opposition to the Israeli war on Gaza and continued occupation of their homeland.

“Free, free, Palestine!”, “End the siege of Gaza, now!” and other chants rang out for several hours as the crowd swelled and then took the streets.

Hatem Abudayyeh of the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) was one of the emcees at the rallies before and after the march. He condemned both the Israeli siege and the U.S. government backing of Tel Aviv. “The U.S. administration is in full support of the crimes of Israel,” said Abudayyeh. “We have a responsibility as citizens and residents of the U.S. to demand that our government end its aid to Israel and its political, diplomatic, financial and military support.”

Among the speakers was Joe Iosbaker with the Anti War Committee. Iosbaker, like Abudayyeh, was one of the 23 anti-war activists subpoenaed to a grand jury investigating activists’ support for national liberation movements, including the movement to liberate Palestine. Iosbaker spoke about the Boeing Company, headquartered in Chicago. “The war planes and bombs in Israel’s arsenal are made by Boeing and, on top of killing and wounding so many, their bombs are made of depleted uranium, which will poison Gaza forever.” He called for protests against Boeing, including one to happen first thing the next morning.

Nesreen Askar, also with USPCN, noted that the $4 billion of annual U.S. aid to Israel could instead be spent here at home on education, healthcare and jobs.

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