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Minnesota: Palestine solidarity march demands Governor Walz divests from apartheid Israel

By Meredith Aby

Twin Cities marches in solidarity with Palestine. | Fight Back! News/Sabry Wazwaz

St. Paul, MN – On February 25, over 1000 people carrying Palestinian flags and signs lined both sides of the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River and then marched to Governor Tim Walz’ Eastcliff Mansion residence to demand that the Minnesota State Board of Investments (SBI) divest from Israeli weapons manufacturers, banks and bonds, and other entities complicit in Israel’s apartheid system in Palestine. Research done by the MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) shows that the MN SBI invests more than $3 billion this way.

For years, local groups like Breaking the Bonds MN, MN BDS Community, Women Against Military Madness, Jewish Voice for Peace – Twin Cities, and MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) have demanded divestment, noting Israeli banks and bonds with SBI investments directly fund construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank that are considered illegal by the United Nations. The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) has also demanded divestment from Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems over its role in constructing the controversial U.S./Mexico border wall.

Taher Herzallah, the director of outreach and grassroots organizing for American Muslims for Palestine, was the first speaker once the march arrived at the governor’s mansion, “Israel has been engaged in a genocide for as long as it has people like Tim Walz in office, as long it has people like Joe Biden in office, supporting it with material support. And they can do that. But you know what? We will never, ever stop the fight for justice in Palestine!”

Lina Jebara spoke for the MN Anti-War Committee, “The State Board of Investment continues to invest $3 billion in taxpayer money, into companies that are profiting from Israel’s genocidal campaign on the people of Palestine. The SBI frames these investments as being to the benefit of public employees, because everyone knows that the best way to help teachers out isn’t by paying them more, or by providing them with new books and supplies, or renovated facilities, but by investing $413 million into weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and the Israeli-owned Elbit Systems!”

The SBI is composed of chair Governor Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, State Auditor Julie Blaha, and Secretary of State Steve Simon. Palestine solidarity activists also plan to deliver public comments at the upcoming State Board of Investment’s quarterly meeting on Thursday, February 29 at the State Senate Building.

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