Milwaukee rally supports Palestine, says “Don't award apartheid!”
Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee Palestine Solidarity Coalition rallied outside the Israel Bonds Awards Dinner, June 13, saying “Don't award apartheid!” Inside the high class downtown Pfister Hotel, Israeli government ministers were presenting an award to a Park Bank CEO for his monetary support to the apartheid state of Israel. But while Israel and their 1% supporters met behind the protection of police stationed in the hotel lobby, activists representing at least seven community organizations rolled out their own red carpet.
“I came out to educate myself more on the issue as well as support the cause,” said Angie Ortiz, “I will definitely go to the ceremony again next year.”
With “Free Palestine” scrawled across the sidewalk at the hotel entrance, a makeshift stage and red carpet mocked the award ceremony inside. But instead of awarding the elite U.S. supporters of Zionist apartheid and occupation, awards were given to each Palestine solidarity activist rallying in support of Palestinian human rights. The final award was given to the courageous Palestinian hunger strikers.
The counter-awards ceremony called for support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) by divesting from Israel bonds. Activists also called on Alicia Keys to cancel her scheduled tour date in Tel Aviv, Israel. This week over 12,000 signatures were delivered to Keys' charity “Keep a Child Alive” in New York, demanding she join the likes of Alice Walker, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Desmond Tutu and Stephen Hawking to stand up for the rights of Palestinians living under occupation and apartheid.
The brand new Palestine Solidarity Coalition consists of several groups doing Palestine solidarity work in Milwaukee. The coalition is planning a city-wide campaign to boycott Israeli goods and end civilian and government aid to Israel from the U.S. That aid includes over $3 billion a year in government support alone.