Colorado Palestine Coalition marches to shut down day 3 of global conference for Israel
Denver, CO – Around 1:30 p.m., the Colorado Palestine Coalition began a protest to shut down day three of the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) Global Conference for Israel. The protest began with a rally at the state capitol before leading a crowd of over 1000 to march to the Colorado Convention Center, where the JNF’s events are being held as they continue to fundraise for genocide of the Palestinian people. The people of Denver continue to fight against the occupation of Palestine and the JNF.
“To the cowards at the JNF, we have a few simple demands,” said Hatem Teirelbar of Students for a Democratic Society, “One: Release all Palestinian hostages. Two: Lift the siege on Gaza. Three: End all U.S. aid to so-called Israel. Four: End all trade and business with Israel. And five: An end to the cooperation between U.S. universities with Israel and weapons corporations.” As the crowd roared with applause after each demand, it became clear that activists will not stop fighting until Palestine is free.
The rally then continued with Nazek Sankari, a member of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) who flew in from Chicago, stating, “In Chicago, we have been mobilizing and targeting our so-called progressive Representative Jan Schakowsky – and one who has thousands of Palestinians in his district, Sean Casten – due to their silence on the genocide, unequivocal support for Israel and unrelenting attacks on Palestinians and their unified resistance, which is fighting to defend our people from the vicious, racist Israeli military that has destroyed Gaza,” Nazek stated to thunderous applause.
Nazek Sankari and other national speakers put on display how this struggle is one that stretches across the U.S., and internationally to Palestine. Without U.S. aid to Israel, the apartheid state would fall. It is essential to keep up actions within the U.S. to support the Palestinian resistance.
After the rally, the massive crowd flooded the streets of Denver with chants supporting Palestinian liberation and denouncing the Israeli occupation. Many onlookers cheered in support.
Upon arrival at the convention center, the event was met with a militarized police response; however, protesters would not be intimidated by this threat. Organizers continued the event with more chants and speeches without any interruption.
While the Colorado Palestine Coalition was not able to shut down the JNF conference, coalition leader Abdulluh Elagha did voice a different achievement that was won, the shut-down of Denver. The Colorado Convention Center was built to increase profits for local businesses, as conference-goers typically will spend their money around Denver. However, the Colorado Palestine Coalition made sure there would be no more business as usual. Since the start of the JNF’s conference, marches and blocked-off roads have made navigating Denver by car a nightmare, buses and light rails have been shut down, and the JNF attendees themselves were too ashamed to face protesters and spend their money in public, ordering catering instead.
With the profits of Denver businesses stymied by protests against the JNF, they will surely not want the JNF back in town. As a result, organizers across the U.S. now have an excellent blueprint for how to agitate against a JNF conference if the JNF attempts to come to their city.
After wrapping up speeches at the convention center, protesters rallied back to the capitol to conclude the protest.
Denver showed out this weekend in support of Palestine in the face of the JNF, but the fight continues until Palestine achieves national liberation. If the last two months of organizing are any indication, the people of Denver are more than up to the task of furthering the struggle until all their demands are met, and Palestine is free.