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St. Paul calls for an end to bombing of Gaza

By Kim DeFranco

Saint Paul, Minnesota weekly protest stands in solidarity with Gaza. | Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco

By Kim DeFranco and Sarah Martin

St. Paul, MN – On November 10, 350 protesters participated in the Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) weekly vigil and bannering to stop the bombing of Gaza and free Palestine at the busy intersection of Snelling and Summit Avenues in St. Paul.

Sara Olson one of the emcees opened the rally with WAMM’s vigil history, “This specific demonstration has been held every Friday since 1991 with the first Intifada and we will continue to stand here when not only the genocide ends but the occupation of a whole people in the Middle East is ended.”

Olson continued, saying that the occupation of Palestine, “has been going on since the Balfour Declaration. A British deal that came about since no country was willing to take the Jewish people after WWII, the British ‘just decided to give them Palestine’ and they didn’t ask anyone. Now it comes to where they can’t get the Palestinians to leave their land so apparently they, the Israeli government, are going to murder as many as they can. It is not only happening in Gaza but in the West Bank where settlers are free to also kill Palestinians. We have to protest this because unfortunately Israel exists because of our tax money.”

As the crowd continued to chant, up to 100 students marched as a contingent from nearby Macalester College to join the protest.

Mariam El Khatib from American Muslims for Palestine MN told the students from the microphone, “Free speech is under attack and it has always been under attack.” She recounted the repression she and others faced from the university administration and state legislature when fighting for BDS (boycott, divest and sanction of Israel) on their campus.

El Khatib went on to say, “This country is more concerned with people using the slogan ‘From the river to the sea’ than ending genocide. Keep standing up even though you may be intimidated, face consequences and it may be scary but this is why we stand up together and fight for one another and say you can’t silence us.”

Anthony Taulor-Gougé from the MN Anti-War Committee also addressed the crowd, stating “We see more Palestinian children’s lives taken from the world. We see a hospital bombed, or a refugee camp bombed. We see homes, ambulances targeted. To the settler Zionist state, all of Gaza is a target. But to be clear, we do not only mourn for the children's lives lost. We mourn and grieve for every Palestinian who has been martyred.”

The program included fiery speakers from WAMM, Vets for Peace, and Macalester College students who spoke of both the reality of the horror of the unprecedented Israeli assault the heroic Gazans are going through but also the enormous and unprecedented worldwide uprising to end it.

Like vigils in weeks past, the crowd continued to receive unending and at times, long and ear-splitting honks in support of them which included many trucks that drove by. All the drivers can see flags, banners and signs such as “End to U.S. aid to Israel,” “Stop bombing Gaza,” “Stop killing Palestinians” and “Let Palestine live!”

WAMM’s Middle East Committee will continue to hold their weekly Friday Palestine vigils, they encourage everyone to take part to raise their voices for Palestine. Together the people will win!

#StPaulMN #Palestine #WAMM