San Francisco marches for Palestine, opposes 75 years of Israeli occupation
San Francisco, CA – On October 8, upwards of 3000 people from across the Bay Area marched in San Francisco to show solidarity with Palestine. They rallied to support the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom from Israeli occupation.
The Bay Area protest, like demonstrations around the United States, support the Palestinians’ united effort to take back occupied land seized by Israel since 1948. Israel has a decades-long record of oppression and brutal human rights atrocities. The recent campaign of resistance is named “Al-Aqsa Flood” after the historic Al-Aqsa mosque in Al Quds, which has been the target of Israeli attacks in recent years.
The protest began at the San Francisco Israeli consulate building, where thousands gathered with Palestinian flags. The crowd unapologetically cheered for the liberation of Palestine with repeated slogans such as “Free, free Palestine!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”
During the initial rally, police in riot gear were present in front of the Israeli consulate, separating protesters from the building. Meanwhile, the Palestine coalition’s security kept a small contingent of pro-Israeli reactionaries away from the crowd. Despite tensions, the leadership of the pro-Palestine rally and its security encouraged the crowd to not engage with the Zionists.
After the starting rally, the crowd marched from the Israel consulate to Embarcadero Plaza. Taking to the streets, the protesters flew the Palestinian flag. They also displayed depictions of Ghassan Kanafani, a Palestinian revolutionary with the PFLP, and Che Guevara, a revolutionary icon who has inspired many such as Kanafani. As the protesters marched, an unidentified man tried to infiltrate the crowd. Protest security confronted him and prevented the man from getting closer, while the march continued.
At Embarcadero Plaza, the coalition began its program with speakers. The theme throughout the different speeches was the condemnation of the U.S. government for aiding Israel in the oppression of Palestine. Another theme was the hypocrisy of the Western media for ignoring the brutal Israeli bombing campaigns and massacres against Palestinian people.
Protesters defended the Palestinian right to self-determination and demanded an end to the occupation. They refused to label Palestine’s united front of resistance arising from Gaza as “terrorists.” In San Francisco and around the world, the people are demanding, “Solidarity with Palestine!”
The protest was organized by a coalition of Palestinian and socialist organizations such as the Palestinian Youth Movement, U.S. Palestinian Community Network, Al-Awda Coalition, Palestinian Feminist Collective, Party for Socialism and Liberation and others.