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Anaheim honors Palestinian martyrs at vigil

By Rain Mendoza

Anaheim, California vigil for those killed in Israel's genocide in Gaza.  | Staff/Fight Back! News

Anaheim, CA – On June 22, over 50 community members and activists gathered at Twila Reid Park for a vigil honoring Palestinian martyrs who have been killed during the ongoing genocide. The vigil was organized by the Palestinian American Women’s Association.

The vigil was one of Orange County’s many actions highlighting Israel’s genocide campaign in Gaza that has killed at least 40,000 people. The vigil started with an all-Palestinian children’s choir that sang Mawtini, the Iraq national anthem. This was followed up with the chants, “We want justice, you say how? End the siege on Gaza now!” and “Genocide Joe, what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?”

A member of PAWA SoCal spoke to the displacement and suffering of Palestinians at the hands of Israel, “For decades Palestinian families have faced unimaginable hardships, forced from their homes time and again now at an exponentially higher scale. Death and starvation loom at every corner in Gaza. Israel has pushed 80% of Gaza’s inhabitants into the cruel limbo of displacement, forcing them to become refugees again.”

The vigil continued with speakers demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel. “We must continue to pressure the U.S. government who provides the bombs, munitions, intelligence and precision technologies that subjugate our people and attempt to quell the resistance. Elected officials continue signing off on billions of dollars in weapons reaching the Zionist entity.” said a speaker from Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Irvine.

A Community Service Organization Orange County (CSO OC) member drew the connection between the Israeli Defense Forces and U.S. police department, stating, “We are aware that the anti-defamation league or ADL has trained many law enforcement agencies within southern California including the Los Angeles Police Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, and Santa Ana Police Department. At CSO OC we are currently working on police accountability and community control of the police in Santa Ana.”

The vigil ended with a closing performance by the Mawtini choir and writing notes on a candlelit altar commemorating the lives of brave Palestinian martyrs. The vigil included members of Students for Justice in Palestine, Black Lives Matter, CSO OC, SAWA SoCal, Memorial for Freedom and Democracy in Palestine, Palestinian Youth Movement, U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), Al-Awada, Palestine Foundation, Arab American Civil Council, and others.

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