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San Jose community protests U.S. war on Yemen

By staff

Group of activists hold Palestinian flags and signs in support of the Palestinian and Yemeni people

San Jose, CA – On January 13, over 100 people gathered at San Jose City Hall to oppose the U.S. war on Yemen and demand an end to U.S. intervention in the Middle East.

The emergency action was called in response to the U.S.– led bombing campaign against Yemen that began on January 11, in retaliation against Yemen’s historic acts of solidarity with Palestine.

The crowd gathered along E Santa Clara Street, chanting slogans such as “Stop bombing Yemen” and “U.S. out of the Middle East.” Protesters waved signs reading “Hands off Yemen,” “Not another war in the Middle East” and “End U.S. aid to Israel.” People also flew Palestinian flags, demanding an end to the U.S.-backed Israeli genocide against Gaza and recognizing that Yemen is being targeted due to its support for Palestine.

The program began with a land acknowledgment and speech by Charlene Nijmeh, tribal chairwoman of the Muwekma-Ohlone. She spoke about indigenous solidarity with Palestine, and their shared experiences of genocide and forced displacement.

Next, a speaker from South Asians for Justice recounted how colonialism and imperialism by the U.S., United Kingdom and other Western powers have been oppressing the nations of Asia for centuries, from South Asia to East Asia and to the Middle East.

John Duroyan from Students for a Democratic Society spoke about the decline of U.S. imperialism. “The American government races towards the brink of global war. As the empire declines, it drags regular everyday people – both its own citizens, and those of the nations it invaded – down with it.” Durovan continued, “We at SDS and our allied orgs ask President Biden this: what business does America have in a region of the world already so thoroughly damaged by our geopolitical adventurism? We have said time and time again, in a vicious cycle of imperialist warmongering that has lasted centuries, that we have had enough.”

Organizers then led protesters to gather at the City Hall rotunda, while dropping a banner from the balcony of the iconic civic building. The banner bore the Yemeni flag with the phrase, “No U.S. war in Yemen,” and a link to contact federal representatives to demand an end to the bombing campaign:

The next speaker was Andy Schaefer, who read Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s statement on the attacks against Yemen. “Yemen’s courage stands as a beacon of hope where there is the darkness of oppression,” Schaefer stated. “It represents a step to a brighter future where the peoples of the Middle East will be free from imperialism and Zionism. When the monopoly capitalists that run the U.S. lose their hold on the Middle East, it will be a milestone in the decline of the American empire.”

The program continued with speakers from Silicon Valley Immigration Committee and the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. Organizers led the crowd in more chanting, as protesters pulled out their phones to email President Biden and their representatives in Congress to demand an end to the bombing. As the protest concluded, organizers called upon attendees to continue protesting against the U.S.-backed war on Palestine and the U.S.-led war on Yemen.

#SanJoseCA #FreePalestine #HandsOffYemen #SDS