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Minnesota pro-Palestine protesters shake up Democrats’ Humphrey-Mondale Dinner inside and out!

By Drake Myers

Minnesota Palestine solidarity protesters outside the 2024 DFL Humphrey-Mondale Dinner. | Fight Back! News/Sabry Wazwaz

Saint Paul, MN – On Friday, March 15 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, the Free Palestine Coalition led a protest of hundreds inside and outside of the Humphrey-Mondale Dinner, the largest annual Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (the name of the Democratic Party in Minnesota) fundraiser.

Protesters drew attention to the fact that since October 2023, the leadership of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) has remained silent while over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in what has been acknowledged around the world as an unprecedented atrocity and a genocide – the gravest humanitarian crime of all.

Protesters lined up along both sides of a busy city street as people parked both for the dinner and a sold-out Olivia Rodrigo concert. The excited concert-goers took “Free Palestine” signs and chanted along as they waited to be let into the show.

“Our demands for a permanent ceasefire have been ignored by Minnesota senators for months. The DFL would rather avoid us altogether through racist exclusion instead of addressing the elephant in the room. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith have continued to make excuses for Israel, soften their language when criticism arises, and offer no real support to stop U.S. involvement in the genocide in Gaza. Minnesota residents have lost family members by the dozens in Gaza. The DFL labels themselves as a progressive group that stands for human rights, yet we see very well that this is merely a facade to hide personal interests,” said Maysoon Wazwaz with American Muslims for Palestine MN.

Speakers throughout the night demanded that congressional representatives of Minnesota such as Amy Klobuchar end support for U.S. aid to Israel. They also demanded that the Minnesota State Board of Investments divest its over $3 billion held in Israeli companies, weapons manufacturers and companies complicit in the occupation of Palestine.

“I’m here because I’m a proud Jewish anti-Zionist and I have spent years working for the DFL to elect the officials who are inside this building. We elected them because they promised to fight for Minnesotans’ education, healthcare and quality of life. They promised to defend our rights. Now, we’re watching as they send billions of our tax dollars to kill Palestinian families,” said Imogen Page, a former DFL campaign staff member and Jewish Voice for Peace-Action member.

Inside the dinner, the luminaries of the Minnesota DFL ate and gave speeches, including Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, DFL Chairman Ken Martin, U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representative Angie Craig, among others. The keynote speaker was the U.S. senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock. As the party members sat and ate their dinner, catering staff gave thumbs up to an excited crowd of Palestine solidarity protesters outside.

During Senator Klobuchar’s speech at the dinner, Dan Engelhart, a member of the Twin Cities Ceasefire Choir, a group of practicing and nonpracticing Christian-heritage people in solidarity with Palestine, stood up and shouted, “Stop funding genocide in Palestine!” before being removed from the venue.

The Free Palestine Coalition continues organizing for Minnesota to divest from apartheid Israel as well as calling for an end to the siege of Gaza, an end to U.S. aid to apartheid Israel, and for a free Palestine.

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