Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Palestinians attend powerful rally and initiate march in New Orleans

By staff

Protesters march on Canal Street in solidarity with Palestine. | Fight Back! News/staff

New Orleans, LA – The New Orleans Palestinian community and supporters rallied on October 9 in solidarity with Gaza and the Palestinian struggle for liberation. Around 200 people came to Duncan Plaza in the city’s central business district, waving dozens of Palestinian flags. The event was held in the wake of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” and the renewed declaration of war on Gaza by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“Blood is on the hands of the Israeli government and its supporters around the world: the U.S. government, which encourages and enables Israel’s daily depredations against the Palestinians, and every leader of every foreign government who is complacent in their capitulation to Israeli and U.S. intransigence,” said Josh Teitlelbaum of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Several speakers emphasized the right of Palestinians to defend themselves from aggression in the context of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

Leila Abu-Orf, a Palestinian human rights lawyer, said, “After 75 years of enduring apartheid, occupation and state-sanctioned annihilation, what exactly is that the U.S. and Israel expect to happen? Maybe they want us to go silently dying into the night, but that’s not an option. We have been given no choice but to fight back and reclaim our dignity.”

“Members of the Muslim Students Association wanted to be here tonight, but decided not to because they didn’t feel that it would be safe,” said Toni Jones of New Orleans for Community Oversight of the Police. “I’m here to continue the deep historical solidarity between the Black liberation and Palestinian liberation struggles.”

As the rally wound down, Palestinian community members expressed their desire to take the streets for their cause. Some of the rally’s organizers sprang into action to plan the route, help block intersections, and provide sound equipment. Participants yelled, cried and laughed through an emotional and empowering march.

Protesters chanted, “Israel, you can’t hide! We charge you with genocide!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” as they marched. They held three lanes of rush-hour traffic on Canal Street, a major thoroughfare bordering the French Quarter and known for its heavy tourist foot traffic. The march ended at city hall with chants of “Free Palestine, free Gaza! Globalize the intifada!”

#NewOrleansLA #Palestine #NationalLiberation #AntiWar #Israel #Gaza