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News and Views from the People's Struggle

MN joins with international day of action for Palestine

By Rhea Smykalski

Mary Beaudoin

Saint Paul, MN – On June 8, over 50 people protested at a busy street corner in Saint Paul, supporting the mass demonstrations in Gaza which have exposed the viciousness of occupation and siege under Israel.

Called by Women Against Military Madness (WAMM), Middle East Committee, and the Anti-War Committee, the protest was quickly endorsed by other community organizations including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR MN), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP-MN), and the MN BDS community. This protest, and others like it across the world, were in response to the call by Palestinians (specifically the National Committee for the Return and Breaking-the-Siege Marches) for international solidarity actions supporting the heroic Palestinian people’s struggle against Israeli occupation.

Mary Beaudoin of WAMM said, “The Israeli government views its periodic mass killings of Palestinians, ‘mowing the grass.’” Beaudoin further stated that the people of Gaza faced two choices, “to die slowly one at a time, trapped and imprisoned under siege in a small strip of land where the infrastructure has been destroyed, or to protest, letting the world know of their suffering.”

The #GreatReturnMarch rallies in Gaza that began March 30. The June 8 violence by Israel resulted in the killing of four more unarmed Palestinians and over 600 wounded. Since the Great Return March began, 125 unarmed Palestinians have been killed and over 13,000 wounded. Israel’s rampage has resulted in a worldwide outpouring of support for the Palestinian people. This could be seen in the overwhelming support of passersby – both on foot and in traffic – at the protest on Snelling and Summit Avenues. One bike rider making several passes, leading the “Viva, viva, Palestina!” chant.

The U.S. governments gives over $10 million a day in foreign aid to Israel. This foreign aid is 20% of Israel’s military budget and is one of the primary supports that allows Israel to continue the murderous occupation of the Palestinian people and their homeland.

The U.S. government’s support for the occupation is generating resistance. As the Anti-War Committee’s Meredith Aby-Keirstead stated, “Public opinion, within the U.S. and internationally, is growing against U.S. support for Israel. Despite the U.S. efforts to provide diplomatic cover for Israel's recent massacres of Palestinians protesting for the right of return in Gaza, people are speaking out against the Israeli military. And the Palestinians aren't backing down. Our job is keep up this pressure so that we can end the $10 million a day the U.S. government pays Israel, and which funds these massacres.”

At the end of the protest, Aby-Keirstead announced upcoming actions to continue the demand for an end to U.S. aid to Israel. She invited the crowd to an Action Planning meeting on June 11, at the CAIR office in Bethany Lutheran Church, to plan for a Free Palestine Interstate 35W bridge protest action on June 12, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

#SaintPaulMN #AntiwarMovement #Palestine #AntiWarCommittee #WomenAgainstMilitaryMadness #WAMM #CAIR