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Minneapolis protests anti Palestine “Deal of Century,” racist travel bans

By Austin Dewey

Minnesota protest slams Trump's new attack on Palestine.

Minneapolis, MN – On January 31, 40 people protested at the Minneapolis Federal Building to stand in solidarity with Palestine. The MN Anti-War Committee and Women Against Military Madness called this emergency response protest after President Trump’s announcement of his ‘peace’ plan which he wants to impose on Palestine. The protest’s message was clear: the “Deal of the Century” proposed by Trump and Netanyahu is a sham and part of an expanding apartheid against the Palestinian people. There can be no deal without the Palestinian right to return, the Palestinian right to exist, and the return of Jerusalem to Palestine as its uncontested capital.

The protest was directly in front of the federal building and courthouse, calling attention to the fact that occupation is a crime. Protesters brought signs that read, “Say no to Trump peace sham” and proudly waved the Palestinian flag. The sounds of a unified crowd echoed across a plaza, “Occupation is a crime, from Mexico to Palestine! Occupation is a crime, from Iraq to Palestine!”

Allan Malkis from Jewish Voice for Peace made the analogy, “Imagine someone breaks into your house, and beats you up, establishes themselves in your living room. Then they throw you out of the kitchen, then they throw you out of the living room, then they say that you can have the closet. Let's make a deal, this is a great deal for you! You get the closet and we get everything else!” when he addressed the crowd.

Wyatt Miller of the Anti-War Committee connected the dots between divide-and-conquer strategy in Palestine with the expansion of Trump’s racist travel ban on Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Eritrea. Miller said, “The travel ban is used to pressure these countries making their ability to do business with us more difficult. The message for all independent nations of the world is to get in line or be punished.”

Sara Hammouri, representing American Muslims for Palestine, took the stage to eviscerate the Trump and Netanyahu’s imperialist demands, “It denies Palestinian refugees their internationally-recognized legal right of return to their homeland. The plan fails to propose a pathway to Palestinian rights. The plan does not deliver a sovereign Palestinian state in which Palestinians would have access to full freedom and rights, but instead provides a blueprint to sustain the apartheid, one-state reality that already exists on the ground. It is the perpetuation of a system in which Palestinians live as second-class humans without access to equal rights and resources. The plan is clearly timed to benefit Trump and Netanyahu’s personal reelection interests.”

Sadia Tarannum, representing CAIR MN, tied the recent citizenship bill in India, which is attacking 200 million Muslims, with the actions inside the United States. She asked the crowd, “What do oppressors have in common? The oppressors everywhere have a common belief that the belief system they go by: the racist beliefs, the nationalist beliefs, that somehow they are better than everyone else.” Tarannum added, “What we have in India, the Modi administration have oppressed the minorities for many, many years.”

Tracy Molm from the Anti-War Committee summed up the demands of the crowd by proclaiming, “There will be no peace by denying Palestinians’ rights – the right to resist occupation and apartheid, their right to return, and their rights to Jerusalem and historic Palestine.” Molm concluded her speech by leading the crowd with the chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

#MinneapolisMN #AntiwarMovement #Palestine #PeoplesStruggles