CHICAGO—The Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine organized a march in downtown Chicago to protest what they argue are atrocities being committed by the Israeli military against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
Hundreds of people attended the Oct. 11 march to show solidarity for Palestine. Motorists honked their horns as they drove past the crowd, to show support. Youngsters and elders waved Palestinian flags while chanting “Free Palestine!”
“I call on the U.S. government to essentially end all funds that they are sending to Israel,” said Raina Salem of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network.
Muhammad Sankari of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago helped organize the gathering. It was the second rally since the Oct. 7 attack by the militant resistance group Hamas into Israel. At presstime, thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have been killed and wounded.
“My wife is from the West Bank and still has family there. My parents are there, and Insha’Allah (God willing), they don’t die this time. And my friend’s family’s home was bombed a few days ago, completely flattened,” said Mr. Sankari.
Solidarity marches by anti-war, anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian groups have occurred in the U.S. and abroad as the Israel-Hamas war rages on.
“We want Palestinians to achieve their right to national liberation and self-determination, rights for our people. We want an end to the massacre and an end to the unconditional aid from the U.S. to Israel,” added Mr. Sankari.
Raigine Robinson also attended the rally and explained that she understands what oppression feels like. “I marched for George Floyd with Black Lives Matter. The Palestinians gave us advice on how to deal with tear gas and other things, so their support helped us thrive in our protest. I wanted to come out this evening and support them the same way,” said Ms. Robinson who is Black.
Families were in attendance and one family included children ages nine and seven. Alla Abdallah is a husband and father. “I brought my family this evening so we could support our country and people, to show some support. Hopefully, the world wakes up and people will see what is really going on there, about how the U.S. is funding Israel to kill my people,” said Mr. Abdallah.
“I’m very sad and very frustrated, I mean I love this country (U.S.) but they are doing the wrong thing,” he said.
“My mother and sister live in Palestine, and we try to communicate with them but the Wi-Fi signal is bad. Israel controls everything. It is hard to get in contact with them, however, they are in good spirits, and I am trying to get them out of Palestine as soon as possible. Getting them out is tough right now, the borders and airports are closed.”
During the rally, several speakers addressed the injustice and inhumane treatment of the Palestinian citizens taking place and called for the United States government to stop all funding to Israel.
The protesters ended the demonstration with a march down Michigan Avenue, one of the busiest streets in downtown Chicago.