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Large protest in Milwaukee denounces bombing and occupation of Palestine

By staff

Milwaukee protest in solidarity with Palestine

Milwaukee, WI – Over 400 people rallied in solidarity with Palestinians who are resisting the wave of Israeli violence here, July 11. Protesters spoke out against the ongoing bombings in Gaza, kidnappings and murders in the West Bank and the continued illegal occupation of Palestine. They demanded an end to the $3.1 billion the U.S. provides to Israel every year.

The emergency rally was called for by the Milwaukee Palestine Solidarity Coalition, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – UW Milwaukee and Marquette Chapters, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and Friends of Palestine.

Since June 12, Israel has engaged in a brutal campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Israel has been bombing Gaza and raiding West Bank towns and villages, arresting hundreds of civilians – including children – across the West Bank and 1948 Palestine.

This past week there have been the brutal deaths and beatings of dozens of Palestinians at the hands of both Israeli forces and illegal Israeli settlers, such as the horrific killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped, tortured and burned alive.

Israel is intensifying its bombing of Gaza in the most serious flare-up in the territory since November 2012. Israel named this latest attack ‘Operation Protective Edge.’ In ways that are eerily reminiscent of the 2009 and 2012 attacks, they have called up 40,000 reservists in the Israeli military.

Across Palestine, this wave of violence has also been met with protest and action. Palestinians are rising up and responding across all of historic Palestine, including the West Bank Gaza, and 1948 Palestine.

The corporate media portrays Israel as a victim, failing to point out the aggressive and ruthless campaign they have waged, including a top Israeli official calling for the genocide of Palestinians that received almost 5000 likes on facebook.

Though this rally was called in immediate response to Operation Protective Edge, activists’ message was clear: Solidarity with Palestinians, demanding an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and an end to the billions of dollars of U.S. aid to Israel.

Activists are also in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh, who began organizing against the occupation as a teenager in a refugee camp when the occupation began. She was then was sexually and physically tortured in an Israeli prison for ten years before moving to the U.S. She is now facing political repression for her activism around Palestine on a spurious immigration charge. She has been a prominent Palestinian leader – especially around the issues of women's rights – in Chicago for many years. Petitions were collected at the rally demanding that charges be dropped against Odeh.

Milwaukee activists will continue stand in solidarity with Palestine, through continued efforts of the International Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and mobilizing support to drop the charges against Odeh who goes on trial in Detroit on Sept. 8.

See video below.

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