Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Thousands upon thousands march for Palestine in Chicago

By Shabbir Rizvi

25,000 march for Palestine in Chicago

Chicago, IL – Over 25,000 people gathered in downtown Chicago on Saturday, October 21 in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

This is the fourth massive rally held in Chicago since the outbreak of the major Palestinian resistance operation, the Al Aqsa Flood, on October 7. Since then, there has been a genocidal bombing campaign of the Gaza strip by the Israeli military, and a unified dehumanization and disinformation campaign by corporate media.

In between roaring chants and calls for the end of the occupation, several speakers highlighted the ongoing struggle for Palestinian liberation and the Western media’s role in enforcing the Zionist narrative.

Mainstream local media as well as national media, in an attempt to obfuscate the popular support of the Palestinian movement in major cities, has published articles diminishing the numbers of each protest and removing the political content entirely. A speaker from Students for Justice in Palestine said of the media, “They lie about our numbers. They come and they lie about our message. So let me be clear – we’re not coming out in hundreds – we are coming out in thousands!”

The rally and march were organized by the Coalition for Justice in Palestine, including the US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), Students for Justice in Palestine, American Muslims for Palestine, and others.

Each time speakers brought up Senator Tammy Duckworth, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Governor Pritzker’s support for Israel, the crowd burst into “Shame on you!” chants.

Jan Schakowsky had seven Palestine activists arrested in her office earlier this week, when they demanded an end to her backing of Israeli war crimes. The 25 who occupied her office included members of USPCN, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Dissenters.

Leslie Williams of the Jewish Voice for Peace, notes “The good news is people are beginning to wake up.”

Shortly after the speakers concluded, the march started and shut down Michigan Avenue and other parts of the Chicago Loop. The seemingly endless sea of people drew in other pedestrians passing by, increasing the size of the crowd even more.

Chants calling for the end of the occupation and the classic “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” could be heard throughout the Loop. Notably, there were no counter-protesters. Even the Chicago Police Department, which receives training from the Israeli “Defense” Force, did not try to bother with arrests as the people flooded and shut down the streets.

Banners and signs from different organizations and people from throughout Chicago could be seen, all in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and the right to resist.

The march ended with a call to action for the next day, October 22, to counter a Zionist rally being held in Federal Plaza in Chicago.

#ChicagoIL #CoalitionforJusticeinPalestine #USPCN #SJP #AMP