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Milwaukee Anti-war Committee disrupts Rep. Gwen Moore’s birthday party and demands “Hands off Iran!”

By staff

Milwaukee protest demands "Hands off Iran." | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – On Sunday, April 14, the Milwaukee Anti-war Committee (MAC) marched from Walker Square to Ivy House in the Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee, where local congressional Representative Gwen Moore was holding her birthday party.

The spirited crowd of about 100 supporters joined the emergency action and marched toward the Ivy House, chanting “Hands off Iran!” and “Free free Palestine!” the whole way over. Meanwhile, two MAC members mingled inside Moore’s birthday dinner. Despite the birthday party costing a pricey $100 per person to attend, serving as a fundraiser for Representative Moore, the two MAC members had secured complimentary tickets and sat patiently.

As the marching crowd slowly walked up to the building chanting, the MAC members inside the birthday dinner event stood up and challenged Moore on her position on Palestine, demanding she vote to end aid to Israel and to sign HR 3103, a bill that would limit funding to Israel. The protesters inside the birthday event were kicked out onto the street and met with cheers and applause as they joined the outdoor protest crowd.

The first speaker outside Ivy House, MAC Chair Sara Onitsuka, began to speak. They were commending the bravery of the protesters inside when a woman later identified as Representative Moore’s daughter, Jessalynne Moore, suddenly came up behind them and attempted to grab and wrestle away the microphone from Onitsuka’s hands.

The protest’s security team responded immediately, blocking Moore from stepping any closer and holding off J. Moore’s husband as well, who was shoving and threatening the security team.

The disruption failed, and the cheers and chants only grew louder as the crowd shouted, “Hands off, shame on you!” at Jessalynne Moore and her husband as they walked away.

The rally continued and the audience heard from multiple speakers from other organizations, including the Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine, Students for a Democratic Society at UW-Milwaukee, Milwaukee 4 Yemen, Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (MAARPR), and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. US Palestinian Community Network also co-sponsored the event.

The speakers were united in their demand for “Hands off Iran” and in their solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. They understood that Iran’s attack on Israel was a justified response to Israel’s bombing of the Iranian Consulate in Syria weeks earlier. Iran went on record after its response to Israel, saying that the attack had concluded, and no further action would be taken unless Israel provoked them again.

Jacob Flom from Freedom Road Socialist Organization spoke to Iran’s response and the broader implications for anti-imperialist resistance, stating, “The U.S. and Israel downplay successes of the resistance. They want us to despair and see no alternative to their imperialism and genocide. But the tide is turning, and we are seeing the genocidal Israeli regime and U.S. imperialism face consequences for the decades of terror they have perpetrated.”

Alan Chavoya of MAARPR further contextualized Iranian support for Palestine. Speaking passionately, he said of the Iranian people, “There’s a couple of things that are truthful for them: their love for soccer, their incredible food, their brilliant minds, and their unconditional support for Palestine.”

As support for Israel wanes globally, countries around the world and their people continue to rise up in support of Palestine, as part of a wider struggle against Israel and U.S. imperialism. Añita Herrezuelo of Milwaukee 4 Yemen brought home this message, stating, “The decline of the U.S. empire sparks a global yearning for freedom and self-determination,” adding, “Together, we hold the power to enact change. The power lies with the people, and we will wield it in the streets until our cries are heard.”

After confronting Representative Gwen Moore, the Milwaukee Anti-war Committee and supporters are undeterred in their demands for Moore to sign bill HR 3103; an end to U.S. aid to Israel; hands off Iran, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and for a free Palestine.

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