Thousands of people across America joined protests over the weekend to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian community in the Gaza strip and demand an end to Israel air raids that have killed upwards of 192 civilians.
According to the region’s Health Ministry, Sunday marked the deadliest day in Gaza yet, with over fifty killed. Israeli firepower has killed over 200 Palestinians, including sixty-one children, since the violence broke out last week. Also, the ministry said that at least 1400 people had been injured.
On Saturday, protests extended as far as Los Angeles to New York City, the 73rd anniversary of al-Nakba, meaning ‘catastrophe,’ so named for the 1948 removal of over 0.7M Palestinians from their residences in East Jerusalem.
On 15 May this year it’s more important than ever for us in Ireland to mark #NakbaDay 🇮🇪🤝🇵🇸
We stand in solidarity with the #PalestinianPeople in #Gaza #EastJerusalem & #WestBank
Fly the Palestinian flag in solidarity this #NakbaDay pic.twitter.com/bgN6P33VpX
— Declan Kearney (@DeclanKearneySF) May 14, 2021
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that at least ten Israelis have died due to Hamas rocket fire.
Other parts of the area have seen violence, too. Jerusalem has been on edge for few weeks, with Palestinian people angered over the closing of a Holy Mosque just as Ramadan was beginning and as a year’s long legal battle to remove 7 Palestinian families from their houses in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood appeared set to end in forced displacement.
Most Significant Protests
Earlier in May, the Israeli police force entered Al Aqsa Mosque and attacked Palestinians inside and around, firing flash grenades while Palestinians threw stones. The resulting conflicts there and other parts of the neighborhood left several Palestinians and some Israeli police officers wounded. Moreover, Palestinian militants in Gaza Strip joined the fray by firing rockets into Israel, which responded with a barrage of air raids.
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Some showed up with handmade symbols, and others marched and chanted through megaphones. But regardless of their involvement style, their note remained the same, to stand in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Some of the more significant demonstrations are as follows.
Protestors filled the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art entrance, which were featured in a famous scene from the movie ‘Rocky.’
An advocacy group called the Brown and Black Coalition of PHL told CNN demonstrators proceeded from Rittenhouse Square Park to the museum, where the ‘Rocky Steps’ are, to listen to poetry and speeches.
On Sunday, Adil Abbuthalha, 23, held his camera and made his way to downtown Sacramento, driven to march the ways of the state’s capital in solidarity with the Palestinian community, he told Cable News Network.
He said that as a Muslim, their prophet teaches them that humanity is like a body, ‘when one part of the body hurts, the rest of the body hurts,’ and then their sisters and brothers are bleeding worldwide. Abbuthalha said that the unity they saw, regardless of ethnicity, speaks volumes for Palestinians.
Rehma Mohamed, 26, was assumed to meet up with friends at Dallas’ demonstration on May 15, but the crowd was so large; she told CNN that she could not find them.
Mohamed said she has never seen an attendance like this before. She has attended every Palestine demonstration in Dallas, and even during the 2014 war, the numbers were just in the hundreds.
New York City
Supermodel Bella Hadid, who is of Palestinian heritage, attended a demonstration on Saturday in New York, posting videos and photos on her Instagram account.>
A caption on one of supermodel Hadid’s Instagram posts read that ‘the way her heart feels, to be around that many smart, beautiful, loving, respectful, kind, and generous Palestinian people all in one place, it feels whole! They are a rare breed!! It is free Palestine til Palestine is free!!!’
On Saturday afternoon, Nader Mirfiq, 33, joined his city’s protest. As a Palestinian-American, he stated he is disgusted, and he wants to open people’s eyes around the world on the inequalities and injustices happening in Gaza and Palestine.
Palestinian protest in New Orleans 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/6Gax6iOjeG
— Nader Mirfiq (@Nader723) May 15, 2021
Moreover, he said that this is about being human beings and fighting for what is right. They want justice and want it now.
Director of the Critica Research and Analysis center, Aaron Anfinson, has been working on a long-standing project on civil disobedience and dissent, which has involved photographing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy marches, Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, the January 6 Capitol riot, and other protest movements, he told Cable News Network.
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