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Minnesotans demand ‘Justice for Palestine’

By staff

Minnesota protest marks last summer’s war on Gaza.

St. Paul, MN – Dozens of protesters gathered at the intersection of Summit and Snelling Avenues here, July 24, to remember last summer’s war on Gaza. They held signs, Palestinian flags, and chanted “Free Palestine” as cars that drove by the busy intersection. After getting supportive honks and peace signs for an hour they concluded with a short rally.

Meredith Aby-Keirstead, spoke to the protest representing the Anti-War Committee, “We picked today to protest with WAMM because of the significance of this date last summer. On July 24, 2014, 10,000 Palestinians on the West Bank took to the streets to protest in solidarity with their sisters and brothers in Gaza, and a UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun which served as a shelter for internally displaced people was struck by several Israeli missiles killing at least 13 people and injuring 200. Today’s date tells a story of solidarity and survival.”

Margaret Sarfehjooy, chair of the Women Against Military Madness’ Middle East Committee, also spoke and addressed the importance of political pressure, “Gaza is the example, and continues to be the example for what happens when we fail to hold our leaders accountable for their actions and complicity. Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military aid. According to the Congressional Research Service, the president’s request for Israel for 2015 is approximately 53% of total U.S. foreign military financing worldwide and Annual Military Finance grants to Israel represent 20% of Israel’s defense budget. With our tax dollars and our government’s unconditional support, the Gaza Strip has become a laboratory for Israeli weapons. For Israeli arms makers, Gaza wars are cash cows. The Israeli army launches an attack against Gaza every 2 years to battle test their latest munitions.” She added that the Gaza Strip, “is a laboratory for a social experiment in which an entire population is incarcerated and isolated, controlled from the land, the sea and the air – all with our government’s complicity. It is time to hold our elected officials accountable.”

The Women Against Military Madness Middle East Committee holds a Palestine vigil every Friday at Summit and Snelling Avenues and this particular one was a part of the Minnesota Anti-War Committee’s #51DaysinGaza summer campaign.

The next Palestine protest will be on August 26 to mark the end of the Gaza war of 2014, with a 4:30 protest followed by a march starting at Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office at 1200 Washington Avenue in Minneapolis.

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