Photo: Just part of the massive crowd that gathered in D.C. on Nov. 4
They came to Washington from all around the country — 300,000-strong — in the largest demonstration for Palestinian freedom ever held in the United States. The Nov. 4 national action stood for the complete liberation of Palestine and demanded a ceasefire, an end to U.S. funding of apartheid Israel, and an end to the occupation.
The overwhelming feeling was that this giant protest, and the other huge actions around the world backing Palestinian self-determination, marked the birth of a new stage in the anti-colonial struggle.
Similar actions were held Nov. 4 in more than 100 cities worldwide. In San Francisco, 50,000 took to the streets. As a next step, a day of coordinated international actions has been set for Thursday, Nov. 9 to “shut it down” for Palestine.
The mood in Washington was furious and strong, reflecting the mood of the Palestinian people. After rallying, protesters marched to the White House to tell Joe Biden, rightly referred to by many in the crowd as “genocide Joe,” that his administration’s criminal policy towards Palestinians does not speak for them.
‘We are here as a show of power’
Speaking at the rally, Mohammed Nabulsi from the Palestinian Youth Movement said that people had come “not simply to recite the U.S.-backed crimes of the Zionist state. We gather here as a show of strength, as a show of power, as a page in the historical record. We gather here to declare to the U.S. government, and to the world as a whole, that the masses of this country and of this globe stand on the side of justice, of dignity, of liberation, and on the side of the Palestinian people.”
Eugene Puryear, the speaker for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, addressed the corporate media’s aggressive attempts to elicit condemnations of Hamas from everyone they interview and their demonization of the Palestinian struggle, “They always ask us when we go out, they say ‘will you condemn this and that?’ Well I’ll tell you what I want to condemn, and that is 106 years of the theft of Palestinian land, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid.”
Brian Becker, Executive Director of the ANSWER Coalition, emphasized to the crowd the collective power of the movement, “We make the change, the change comes from us, and right now sisters and brothers — we are sending a message, a very strong message to Joe Biden: If you stand with genocide, we hold you guilty of genocide. Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli regime pulls the trigger but the U.S. government sends the weapons, they pay the bill, it’s their genocide too.”
Layan Fuleihan from The People’s Forum called Gaza “a place that is small in size, but it is the center of the world for everyone who is struggling for liberation today. Gaza may be small in size but it is stronger, much stronger than Israel, than Zionism, than the United States, or imperialism. Gaza has the people of the world behind it.”