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Tucson stands with Palestine: Hands off Al-Aqsa!

By Jim Byrne

Arizona protest demands end to all U.S. aid to Israel.

Tucson, AZ – On April 14, a spirited crowd of around 50 people rallied on the steps of Old Main on the University of Arizona campus to demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel.

The majority of those gathered were students organized by the Student for Justice in Palestine chapter at the U of A. Donning keffiyehs and holding signs that read “Fuck Zionism!” the students roared when chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”

The protest came in response to Israeli occupation forces who recently stormed the Masjid al-Aqsa and brutally attacked and detained hundreds of Palestinians. The Zionists invaded Al-Aqsa during the holiest month of Ramadan, and also carried out airstrikes throughout Gaza.

Palestinian, Arab and Muslim speakers all highlighted the courage and bravery of the Palestinian resistance and condemned the brutality of the Zionist regime. One Student for Justice in Palestine speaker said, “The struggle of my family to get their land back, the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation are struggles linked with the global struggles for liberation like Black Lives Matter here.”

Members of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) in Tucson also helped organize the rally and provided union-made signs that read “Victory to Palestinian resistance!”

Speaking to the group, Jim Byrne, a member of FRSO and a trade unionist, said, “Israel cannot last long without the $3.8 billion a year aid the U.S. gives it. Those of us inside the belly of the imperialist beast must do our part to cut off that lifeline to the Zionist apartheid regime. Unconditional support to the Palestinian resistance!”

After the speakers, the group marched around the U of A Mall chanting, “Not another nickel, not another dime. No more money for Israel’s crimes!” and “Hey Israel, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?”

The Students for Justice in Palestine-UA and FRSO with the Arizona Palestinian Solidarity Alliance are working to organize a local protest at the upcoming “Israel at 75” celebration occurring on April 30.

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