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“All out for Rafah!” Colorado Palestine Coalition takes to the streets

By Paul Nelson

Hundreds of protestors marching with Pro Palestine signs

Denver, CO – On Saturday June 1, several hundred people turned out to City Park in Denver, Colorado in the summer heat on a clear day. A week earlier Israeli airstrikes on United Nations refugee camps in Rafah martyred 50 people who had been displaced into these “safe-zones.” People were stirred to action again by the images coming out of Rafah of martyred children among the dead.

The sounds of the protest carried through the nearby City Park Farmers Market, where well over 1000 people were shopping. Police blocked off streets in anticipation of the march’s entry into the market, but the protest went on to shut down the busiest city streets in Denver. The march took both lanes of the street on 17th Avenue, Colorado Boulevard and Colfax Avenue in a march around the City Park neighborhood.

Organizers had raised the call, “All out for Rafah! No business as usual while Israel bombs and USA pays!” Leading the protest was the Colorado Palestine Coalition (CPC) the leading organization in the Palestine movement in Colorado. Chants of “Free free Palestine!” “Up up with liberation! Down down with occupation!” joined other calls for an end of a U.S.-funded genocide.

Khalid Hamu of the Denver Students for a Democratic Society reminded the crowd that the students of Denver are still in the fight for divestment, urging students to join a rally for divestment in the neighborhood of University of Colorado’s leading regent, Callie Rennison. The students raised the chants, “Disclose! Divest! We will not stop! We will not rest!” and “Israel bombs, CU pays! How many kids did you kill today?”

The march ended in another series of speeches near the farmers market in an intersection to the south of East High School. Though the heat was difficult, marshals distributed water and sunscreen to keep people cool. Logistical support from Denver/Boulder JVP, Denver PSL, Denver DSA, SDS and others helped make the action possible.

This action was another page in a series of militant actions organized by the CPC. It’s more than seven months and three weeks since October 7 and there is still a strong turnout to actions where the people shout, “Gaza Gaza you will rise! You have Denver on your side!”

A broad unity in the fight for a free Palestine has been built and is ever expanding in Denver and spreading across the state of Colorado. Activists are commuting and communicating from far and wide to support and learn from one another across the Denver metro area and across the state. Since October the Colorado Palestine Coalition has been joined by many new people and organizations that have the determination to continue fighting for a free Palestine.

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