Minnesota marks Sabra and Shatila massacre, demands end to U.S. aid to Israel
Minneapolis, MN – Over 100 people protested against U.S. military aid to Israel over the bridge connecting the Walker Sculpture Garden and Loring Park here, Sept. 13. The protesters were visible to many lanes of traffic as major streets and highways converged below them. After chanting for almost an hour protesters marched to Loring Park for a concluding rally.
Meredith Aby-Keirstead, from the Minnesota Anti-War Committee, opened the rally, stating, “Today we mark the anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre 32 years ago in Lebanon. This week in 1982, 3500 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were slaughtered or disappeared from two Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war. The Sabra and Shatila massacre is an important anniversary to the Palestinian people – it marks the cruelty of the Israeli military forces, shows the lack of safety Palestinians have even after they have become refugees in foreign lands, and connects them again to the central demand of the right to return.”
Aby-Keirstead concluded, “We are here today to demand that the U.S. end its support for Israel’s repeated attacks on Palestine. We are here to demand an end to U.S. military aid which is used to kill Palestinians – including children. We have a large task in front of us. The Anti-War Committee urges our supporters to call Minnesota’s senators – especially Senator Franken who is seeking re-election – and demand that he stop standing with Israel against the Palestinians and to stop sponsoring and voting for aid to Israel.”
The protest had a significant contingent from the Minnesota chapter of Jewish Voices for Peace. Jeremy Levinger represented the group from the stage and declared to be proud to be Jewish and to support a free Palestine.
Jessica Sundin spoke from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression to talk about the defense of Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh. Sundin has been helping to lead the effort nationally to support Odeh and asked the audience to join her in Detroit for Odeh’s upcoming trial in November.
The protest ended with a powerful theater skit by members of the Anti-War Committee, which compared the reality of the occupation of Palestine through one child’s experiences with the way in which the corporate media distorts the same events.