Approximately 600 protestors marched through the streets of Boston Tuesday night to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza and occupation of Palestine. The demonstrators showed solidarity with the people of Gaza, where the Israeli military has killed 139 Palestinians since breaking the ceasefire on November 14, and with the thousands of people across the world who have taken to the streets in the last week, demanding freedom for the Palestinian people.
"We know that the people in Gaza and in Palestine can hear and see us as we rise up in solidarity with them," said Tala Borno, an Economics major at Northeastern University and President of the University's Students for Justice in Palestine, the group that organized the demonstration. "Social media means we know they'll see our flags, our numbers, our diversity, and the steadfastness that we're learning from them and all those who struggle for justice."
Following a rally at Copley Square, where the anti-occupation activists faced a crowd of approximately 30 pro-Israel demonstrators, the former began a march through the streets of Boston. Banners were at the forefront of the march, with an enormous Palestinian flag carried by over 20 protestors at the tail end. The march was entirely nonviolent, and included a moment of silence at the Israeli Consulate on Park Plaza, proceeded along the outskirts of Boston Common, lingered outside the State House, and concluded at Copley Square. There was overwhelming energy for continuous chants including "Brick by Brick, Wall by Wall, We Will Make Apartheid Fall," "Resistance Is Justified When People Are Occupied," and "Not Another Nickle, Not Another Dime, No More Money for Israel's Crimes."
The protestors challenged US military assistance to Israel, which totals about $3 billion per year, and violates the US Foreign Assistance Act, which states that no assistance will be provided to a government that grossly violates "internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment…or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person."
On Wednesday (Nov. 21), a ceasefire was agreed upon by Israel and Hamas, although one Palestinian was killed and 10 others injured today when Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians as they approached the border between Gaza and Israel. Many see these attacks as violations of the ceasefire, and suggest that only a permanent and just solution will bring about peace.
"The escalation of violence in Gaza is a manifestation of the ongoing injustice and oppression against Palestinians," stated Alex Shams, a second year graduate student in the Middle Eastern Studies Department at the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and participant in the demonstration. "We're here because we refuse to stay silent while the US defends and finances Israel's denial of freedom, justice, and equality to Palestinians."
Demonstrators were not only committed to proceed with actions until the violence on Gaza ends, but also to continue mounting pressure to end the occupation and apartheid and to bring about justice for all people in Palestine/Israel.