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Pro-Palestine and BLM organizers join forces to stand up for all stolen lives

By Robyn Harbison

Car caravan in Saint Paul, Minnesota calls for solidarity with all oppressed peoples. | Fight Back! News/Photo credit: KingDemetrius Pendleton \[studio at the George Floyd Square 3730 Chicago Avenue Minneapolis Minnesota 55407\]

St. Paul, MN – On January 13, about 250 people gathered in below-zero temperatures to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. weekend by participating in a car caravan, followed by a rally at the State Capitol.

Near the Saint Paul Western District Police Department, surrounded by strip malls, protesters called for no business as usual during a genocide, as drivers and passengers decorated cars with signs carrying slogans like “Solidarity with all oppressed peoples” and “Justice for Marcus Golden! Murdered by SPPD nine years ago!”

This year was the 9th annual MLK Solidarity March & Rally for Marcus Golden, who was unjustly shot and murdered by the Saint Paul Police Department on January 14, 2015.

Speakers from endorsing organizations spoke on issues centering their demands, such as community control of police, reparations for descendants of chattel slavery, the free Palestine movement and stopping endless wars. The car caravan started in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood of Saint Paul and stretched many city blocks. By the time cars arrived at the final rally destination, about 150 cars filled both lanes and honked in the rhythm of chants.

Sabry Wazwaz of the Anti-War Committee and Jae Yates from TCC4J made the connections to police violence and specific tactics used by the IDF against Palestinians in occupied Palestine.

Nick Tolliver, an AWC member highlighted the facts, stating, “The U.S. and Israel are connected at an ideological level because they are both systematically racist settler colonies masquerading as liberal democracies that use their racism to justify the construction of oppressive and violent institutions. We must come together and demand an end to the unchecked repressive state violence that is perpetuated domestically by the police, ICE, the FBI, and internationally by the whole military industrial complex and the CIA. We must force our institutions to bend to the will of the people or be broken by our collective power.”

After the long caravan reached the capitol grounds, there was a short rally in the memory two movement activists who died in the past two years, Mel Reeves and Tou Ger Xiong, as well as speeches about what Dr. King would do today.

The event was organized in coalition with Black Lives Matter MN, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar (TCC4J), the MN Anti War Committee (AWC), and Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence (FSFAPV) and was endorsed by many other organizations.

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