Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Minnesota marches against the ongoing Nakba

By Meredith Aby

Minneapolis march against the genocide in Palestine. | Photo: Sabry Wazwaz

Minneapolis, MN – On May 15, over 1000 people marched in the Free Palestine Coalition’s march for the 76th anniversary of Al Nakba, “the catastrophe” in Arabic. Protesters started at U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office demanding an end to U.S. aid to apartheid Israel and calling on her to stop her support for the ongoing second Nakba, the U.S.-backed Israeli genocide currently occurring in Gaza.

Palestinians observe Nakba Day on May 15 to mark the anniversary of the dispossession of Palestinians of 78% of their land. In 1948, Zionist terrorist groups besieged and killed 15,000 Palestinians and displaced 400,000 people. By the first half of 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinian men, women and children were displaced and became refugees who have never been allowed to return to their stolen homes. This year, with the death toll in Gaza rising to over 35,000 people, has international human rights groups labeling Israel’s siege of Gaza as a genocide. Activist groups are calling this another Nakba.

Anthony Taylor-Gouge, a member of the MN Anti-War Committee and the Free Palestine Coalition, spoke to the crowd before the march, “So many times we look to the past, and we say to ourselves, ‘what would I have done then.’ There is no need to ask ourselves what we would have done, there is only a need to show it in the present. The Nakba never ended. And everywhere around us, we are accompanied by those ensuring it continues. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar continues to help fund the state of Israel to the tune of billions of dollars. The Democratic governor of Minnesota sits as the chair of the State Board of Investment that oversees over a billion dollars invested in companies profiting off of the ongoing Nakba. Our once supposed-progressive U.S. Congressman and now Attorney General Keith Ellison sits on that same Board of Investment and tells us divestment from genocide is illogical!”

Taylor-Gouge concluded, “The Nakba and those that continue to support it are all around us. It is not ‘What would we have done? It is, what are we doing now?’ The ways to act are broad, but it requires that we build power against what we have power to control and change. So I ask that you look around tonight, when you go to the store, when you’re talking to a friend. What are we doing now? Get organized, build power, we in the belly of the beast have a role to play in the Nakba, and it is up to us to organize against it.”

The march started at Senator Klobuchar's office and then took the bridge over Interstate 35W, holding it during rush hour traffic. Then the march went through the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood which is the heart of the Somali community in Minneapolis. Hundreds of people joined the march from the Somali neighborhood as it went past apartment buildings. The entire playground and all the basketball courts at the Brian Coyle Community Center were emptied as the children joined the march chanting “Free Palestine!”

The protest was part of a national week of actions called by the newly formed Anti-War Action Network (AWAN). The emcees encouraged protesters to protest Trump on Friday, when he comes to Saint Paul to fundraise for his reelection campaign for president.

#MinneapolisMN #MN #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #AWAN #MNAWC #Nakba #MNFreePalestineCoalition