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Colorado Palestine Coalition shuts down day one of Jewish National Fund Conference

By Solveig Swain

Acvitist with a Keffiyeh wrapped around their face speaks into a bullhorn as other protesters gather around.

Denver, CO – About 400 protesters gathered on the Auraria Campus, November 30, to march on the first day of the Jewish National Fund’s Global Conference for Israel.

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is a Zionists’ organization older than the state of Israel itself, and which has a long history of supporting the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The protest marched over to the conference uninterrupted and, despite a massive police presence and multiple threats by police, were able to successfully disrupt the Zionist event. Denver made it clear that genocide is not welcome in their city.

The protest began with speakers who denounced Colorado Governor Jared Polis for attending the JNF conference, condemned Israel for its war crimes, and celebrated the victories of the Palestinian resistance.

“In less than four hours, the ceasefire will end, and Israel will resume its genocidal slaughter in Gaza. Less than a mile from here, 2000 Zionists are celebrating that,” said Hatem Teirelbar of the Students for a Democratic Society. Teirelbar then went on to credit the Palestinian resistance for forcing this truce in the first place, and other victories made by the resistance.

Once fully energized, the crowd took to the streets to march on the Colorado Convention Center, where the JNF events were being held.

At the Colorado Convention Center, activists gathered their forces up against the doors of the west entrance, immediately finding a militarized police response. These police cowered inside the doors wore bulletproof vests and helmets while protesters yelled and chanted from outside. Despite protesters having no ability or intention to get through the doors, police put up signs stating that “chemical agents” would be deployed if protesters did not back away. This was nothing but an intimidation tactic. No tear gas was ever deployed, and attendees, many of whom were no stranger to tear gas, stood strong.

After around 30 minutes, the coalition marched around to the north entrance of the conference and continued their action. Disruption escalated from here, as protesters began to bang on the windows and shout at the Zionists inside as they walked through security and around the center.

After 20 minutes at the north entrance, protesters marched back to the west entrance to finish the event. Here, it was announced that despite the best efforts of the JNF to exclude the public, one protester had made it inside. This individual relayed information that the conference was very small and those inside could hear protesters loud and clear.

Earlier in the week the JNF had rescinded the vast majority of free tickets given out in an effort to silence pro-Palestinian voices, leading to the low turnout for the event. While there was no protest inside, people power can never be silenced, and the Zionist’s own tactics still clearly backfired upon them.

While the main protest went off without a hitch or police violence, unfortunately, five Denver Police cars trapped a small group of as they walked back to their cars and arrested two members of the Denver Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). These individuals had done nothing wrong. Their arrest was a clear intimidation tactic by the Denver Police Department, which has a long history of police brutality and protest suppression.

The power of the people is unstoppable. The arrest these activists will only increase the fury and strength of the Palestinian movement, which will keep fighting until there is an end to the occupation and a free Palestine.

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