March for Gaza: At D.C. rally, 1000’s anticipated to demand warfare cease-fire | EUROtoday

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Thousands of protesters started gathering in downtown D.C. Saturday afternoon at a rally calling for a cease-fire in Gaza and a halt to U.S. support to Israel.

A sea of black, inexperienced, crimson and white flags floated over the group in Freedom Plaza, blocks from the White House, because the protesters chanted “Free Palestine” and held picket indicators with messages resembling “Cease Fire Now” and “End the War in Gaza.” Other indicators accused the Israeli authorities of working towards apartheid and charged President Biden with genocide.

Demonstrators, arriving by the busload and streaming from Metro stations, expressed outrage over the continuing warfare and American help for Israel’s bombing marketing campaign that has displaced a lot of the inhabitants and left greater than 23,0000 Gazans lifeless and roughly 60,000 wounded, based on the Gaza Health Ministry.

The rally, organized by the American Muslim Task Force for Palestine and different teams, is the second in help of Gaza in Washington because the Israel-Gaza warfare started on Oct. 7, when Hamas militants launched an assault on Israel, killing 1,200 individuals and taking about 240 hostage. A rally in help of Israel was held in mid-November on the National Mall, the place 1000’s gathered to precise their solidarity with Israel, exhibit their resolve to fight antisemitism, and demand the discharge of hostages kidnapped by Hamas in its Oct. 7 assault.

As the beginning of the rally approached, police established a visual presence on close by blocks, although not on the plaza itself. D.C. police squad automobiles with their emergency lights flashing lined seventeenth Street and Ok Street and blocked service roads, whereas Park Police officers on bikes additionally lined up. Numerous snow plow vans have been additionally parked alongside main roads within the metropolis, however not due to any anticipated snow. Police typically use the vans to dam intersections to maintain visitors and marchers separated, or to redirect marchers away from sure areas.

Mohamad Habehh, director of improvement for American Muslims for Palestine and lead organizer of Saturday’s occasion, mentioned organizers picked this weekend to mark practically 100 days of warfare and to honor the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day vacation.

“We’re past three months of constant killing,” Habehh mentioned. “We feel that it is important for us to come on this holiday weekend in the spirit of MLK when he said that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ that we stand up against the injustice that’s going on in Gaza right now, and stand up against the atrocities that are being supported and being promoted by our government.”

Organizers anticipate that upward of 25,000 individuals will attend the occasion, based on a allow issued by the National Park Service late Thursday. The allow additionally contains parts of Lafayette Square, throughout from the White House, the place protesters are anticipated to march following the rally. There are buses coming from states throughout the nation, together with Florida, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin, based on the occasion web site.

Saturday’s protest comes a day after Israel rejected allegations introduced by South Africa on the International Court of Justice that it’s committing genocide in Gaza. Israel mentioned the rising dying toll in Gaza was an unavoidable consequence of its battle towards a militant military that has embedded itself in civilian areas and seeks to repeat the Oct. 7 assaults.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the cost, saying “Today, again, we saw an upside-down world, in which the State of Israel is accused of genocide at a time when it is fighting genocide.”

Speakers introduced for the rally embody Nihad Awad, govt director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, presidential candidates Cornel West and Jill Stein, Ilyasah Shabazz (daughter of Malcolm X), Colorado state Rep. Iman Jodeh (D), Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin and members of the family of individuals killed in Gaza.

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