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Minnesota protests Dean Phillip’s campaign for president over Palestine

By Meredith Aby

Protest outside Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips’ office to challenge his positions on Palestine. | Fight Back! News/Robyn Harbison

Minnetonka, MN – On December 6, over 80 people turned out in Minnetonka next to Interstate 394 to protest during rush hour. The Free Palestine Coalition organized the protest outside Representative Dean Phillips’ office, Minnesota Congressional representative for the 3rd District, to draw attention to his positions on Palestine.

Phillips has a consistent record of voting for U.S. military aid to Israel. The Palestinian American community and the Palestine solidarity movement picked his office to protest because, as a candidate running for the Democratic nominee for U.S. president, Phillips has not criticized Israel’s bombing campaign or invasion of Gaza.

On November 17, Phillips released a press release calling for a “multi-national peacekeeping force” to be deployed to Gaza and for the U.S. to directly engage in warfare against Hamas. Members of the Palestine solidarity movement are protesting his positions because they are concerned his position would escalate the conflict.

Melanie Yazzie of The Red Nation, a member group of the Free Palestine Coalition, explains, “Phillips touts himself as a presidential candidate with the ‘courage to do things differently’ from Joe Biden. Phillips’ track record on Palestine aligns with Biden’s; he has voted for every aid package to Israel that Congress has considered. However, when it comes to Gaza, Phillips wants to escalate the siege by calling for a multinational coalition to ‘eliminate’ Hamas. Such a call risks regional and global war with possible deployment of U.S. troops to Palestine. Phillips has blood on his hands and needs to be held accountable for his support of Israeli war crimes and his calls for escalation. Come show support for Palestine by telling Dean Phillips: ‘No new occupation of Gaza! Take a stand against the siege of Gaza! End U.S. aid to Israel!’”

“Phillips’ brazen call for a foreign occupation of Gaza, potentially with direct U.S. involvement, articulates a possible turn of events that U.S. and Israeli officials have hinted at,” said Wyatt Miller of the MN Anti-War Committee. “Terming such a scenario a ‘ceasefire’ is a slap in the face of the millions of protesters around the world for whom the call for a ceasefire means restoring the rights of Palestinians that Israel and the U.S. have denied for decades.”

At the protest, members of Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Against Genocide, Women Against Military Madness and American Muslims for Palestine spoke on the microphone to the crowd, encouraging the them to push Phillips towards supporting a cessation of bombing and the troops to Gaza, and for him to stop supporting U.S. aid to Israel. Organizers also encouraged the crowd to go to the MN Anti-War Committee’s next protest on December 10 for International Human Rights Day.

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