Minneapolis stands with Gaza in emergency protest
Minneapolis, MN – On August 9, around 100 Palestine solidarity and anti-war activists packed the sidewalk outside Senator Amy Klobuchar’s downtown office to demand immediate action to end U.S. aid to Israel. The action was called on an emergency basis after several days of Israeli military attacks on Gaza as well as ongoing raids on the Palestinian resistance in the West Bank.
This latest round of Zionist violence began on August 5 when Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) bombed a residential building in Gaza to assassinate a resistance leader. The unprovoked attack reportedly killed ten people, including a five-year-old child and several civilians, and was followed by sustained IOF bombardment of the besieged enclave for days. In total, the attacks on Gaza killed 48 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 17 children. Several additional Palestinian were killed by the IOF in the following days amid raids and arrests in the West Bank.
The Minneapolis protest was initiated by the Anti-War Committee (AWC) and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), and quickly endorsed by more groups including the Council on American-Islamic Relations – Minnesota, Youth for Palestine MN, Women Against Military Madness, and the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition.
“Since 2009, how many massacres have we had in Gaza? Countless,” said Taher Herzallah of AMP. “How many children did we lose? How many generations did we lose? How many people have become homeless or permanently wounded and injured?”
“The people of Gaza will not let anybody break them,” he continued. “They will not let a bombardment, or the Israeli government, or Zionism, or anything that happens, break them and break their will to live.”
Activists slammed Senator Klobuchar for her hawkish record, including strong support for U.S. aid to Israel, but the AWC’s Andrew Josefchak explained, “Even if people like Klobuchar are against us, we are still making gains.”
“Palestine only makes the news when Israel bombs Gaza, but the fight continues all the time. There are victories all the time, not only in the rising tide of heroic resistance fighting in the West Bank, but here too,” said Josefchak, citing recent divestment announcements by U.S. corporations like Ben & Jerry’s and Pillsbury after being pressured by solidarity activists.
Organizers announced the next local Palestine solidarity action, a protest demanding that the Minnesota State Board of Investment divest its millions in public pension funds from Israeli companies like weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems. That action will take place Tuesday, August 23, at the Governor’s Mansion in Saint Paul (1006 Summit Ave), at 5 p.m.