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Chicago commemorates Land Day with Palestine protest

By staff

Chicago marches for Palestine to commemorate Land Day. | Fight Back! News/staff

Chicago – On March 30, thousands of Palestinians, Arab Americans and others took to the streets of Chicago to protest the ongoing genocide in Palestine and to demand an end to all U.S. aid to Israel. Protesters rallied in the Federal Plaza and then marched to and occupied Michigan Avenue- a major street in downtown Chicago. This action was the 30th mass mobilization called by the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine (CJP) since the Al-Aqsa Flood began on October 7.

March 30 in particular holds special significance for the people of Palestine because it marks two important events in the history of the Palestinian liberation movement: Land Day in 1976 and the Great March of Return in 2018. Both protest movements began in opposition and resistance to Zionist Israel’s illegal occupation and theft of the land of Palestine.

According to a social media post by the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), a member of CJP, “The Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of donums of Palestinian land sparked what is now known as Land Day, and years later, the Great March of Return was intentionally organized on March 30 by Palestinians in Gaza to honor the six lives lost in 1976. The Great March of Return lasted until December of 2019, and even though Israel murdered 214 protesters and injured over 36,000 people, Gazans remained steadfast and continued weekly Friday mobilizations demanding the #RightofReturn. The Palestinian resistance has always been strong and well organized, and the Palestinian peoples’ dedication to our land is one of the driving forces behind all of the movement’s successes.”

This was especially evident in Chicago’s downtown march as one of the most popular chants was “Get up and take a stand! We’re taking back our land!” 

Chicagoans were not the only people in attendance. Emma Sheerin, a Sinn Féin party representative from the north of Ireland was also present and stood in solidarity with protesters and organizers of the march. This comes just a week after the USPCN and Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression met with Naledi Pandor, the South African Minister of International Relations And Cooperation. Speakers asked attendees of the march to demand that their congressional representatives vote against the United States South Africa Bilateral Relations Review bill, which could potentially place sanctions on South Africa for its support of Palestine.

Members of USPCN and other organizations also passed out fliers informing protesters of the upcoming April 13 conference to prepare for the March on the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on August 19 through the 22. 

“We want to make one thing clear to Genocide Joe, Killer Kamala, and every elected official who feeds us lip service: you will have no rest, no sleep, no peace until Palestine is free!” said Nick Sous, a member of USPCN.

#ChicagoIL #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #LandDay #USPCN #SinnFein #CJP