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St. Paul rally calls for an end to Israel’s bombing of Gaza

By Sarah Martin

St. Paul, MN – On December 1, 100 Palestine solidarity activists responded to the continuation of Israel’s vicious and deadly bombing of Gaza. They rallied during the evening rush hour at the WAMM (Women Against Military Madness) weekly bannering at a busy Saint Paul intersection.

Motorists responded with honks and fist pumps as activists chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes” and “Hey Netanyahu what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?”

A counter-protester holding and waving an Israeli flag was isolated by marshals, was not able to interfere with the chanting and program and soon left in frustration.

Soon after the program began, WAMM member Molly Wilbur-Cohen, voicing everyone’s outrage, told the crowd, “It’s great to see you all today but it’s a terrible day because Israel is continuing its genocide of the Palestinian people of Gaza. This is after a so-called ‘humanitarian pause’ took place for six days which was violated by Israel several times. This was not humanitarian in any stretch of the imagination because Palestinians are still without sanitary water, hardly any food, no medicines, and no fuel. The number of trucks carrying aid that were allowed to enter the Rafah crossing was miniscule compared to what is really needed.”

Wilbur-Cohen continued, “Today Blinken said ‘Israel will inform Palestinians of safe places in Gaza.’ We know there are absolutely no ‘safe places’ in Gaza. Hamas had offered to exchange more Israeli captives and hand over the bodies of Israelis that were killed by the Israeli bombing of Gaza, but the occupation refused. Israeli occupation forces and the Biden administration bear complete responsibility for stopping the truce.”

Next, Samantha Alsadi speaking for the Anti-War Committee (AWC), told the story of being in her second grade art class and along with the other kids, told to draw the flag of their grandparents’ country. She was so excited to draw her beautiful Palestinian flag. When her teacher saw her drawing she shamefully, sternly told her Palestine was not a country and she couldn’t use her picture. She had to draw either the Israeli flag or the flag of Pakistan; because it began with “P” and the teacher assumed the child was confused.

Alsadi went on to say, ”Today, I am still hurt, confused, and angry. Angry because my very own government legally takes my money from my hard earned labor to fund, supply and support the genocide of my people by the Israeli government. Confused because we apparently don’t have any money to help our fellow neighbors who are experiencing homelessness in the dead cold of Minnesota winters, but we do have billions of dollars for an apartheid state to commit genocide against the indigenous people of a piece of land halfway across the world. Hurt because I know that each moment that passes, more bombs are dropped, more Palestinians are shot dead in the streets, more children are kidnapped and kept hostage by Israel, more Palestinian homes are taken, more families are completely wiped off the registry.”

Rabia Shah Din, a graduate student from nearby Saint Thomas University, also expressed the outrage of the protesters. “Israel has resumed their attacks on Gaza after the short ceasefire, around roughly 11 p.m. yesterday night. The death toll so far is reported to have passed 100. Our political leaders certainly have their priorities straight. They have made it clear that they care more about lining their own pockets and furthering Western imperialism in the Middle East than they do about human lives. They have abandoned their morals, their ethics, and their humanity and yet call us crazy for demanding an end to a literal genocide. This was never about October 7, it was about Israel finishing the ethnic cleansing they began 75 years ago.”

She continued, “We have seen the Palestinian people’s bravery, their faith, their strength, their resilience, their love for their land and their deep compassion for their fellow people. The road ahead is long but every action we take brings us closer to a free Palestine.”

Robyn Harbison of WAMM and the Free Palestine Coalition closed out the rally by emceeing, reiterating, “We keep us safe, and we must remember that we outnumber the Zionists in great numbers. Keep showing up for Palestine! Together we are never alone in the movement.”

The Free Palestine Coalition in Minneapolis will soon be announcing protests for the coming week.

#StPaulMN #International #Palestine #AntiWar #WAMM