Hundreds gathered in Chicago in the afternoon of July 28 to protest the continued oppression of Palestinians by Israel and to celebrate the victory the Palestinian people won earlier that week when, after prolonged protests, Israel ended new restrictions on freedom of movement into Al-Aqsa mosque.
These restrictions had included the use of metal detectors and a prohibition on entrance by Palestinian men under the age of 50. In the course of resisting these new impositions several Palestinians were killed and many hundreds were injured by the violent security forces of the occupation.
The march in Chicago included people of all races and faiths standing together in solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine. Speakers at the rally reminded the crowd that this latest attack on the faith of Palestinian Muslims is part of Israel’s broader campaign to expropriate the entirety of the city of Jerusalem and Palestine as a whole. They also drew connections between the struggle in Palestine and the struggles of the oppressed in the United States.
Lynn Pollack of the organization Jewish Voice For Peace remarked that the violence inflicted on Palestinians “mirrors the violence the Chicago Police Department practices on people of color in Chicago.” The CPD, like many American police departments, has a long history of training alongside Israeli occupation forces and importing technologies and methods of repression for domestic use.
After the initial rally, hundreds of people marched through downtown Chicago calling for an end to the occupation and the system of Israeli apartheid. The day concluded outside the Israeli consulate with a second rally.
Members of ANSWER Chicago and the Chicago branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation attended the march to show solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and to build momentum for the upcoming People’s Congress of Resistance. The current U.S. Congress is a collection of millionaires and war criminals that has been nothing but a bastion of support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as attested by the constant stream of funding and weaponry that flows to the Israeli military and the recent attempts to criminalize support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
The People’s Congress of Resistance, on the other hand, will be composed of true representatives of working class and oppressed people, including anti-war organizers and grassroots activists from across the country, and will present a new opportunity to oppose the oppression of the Palestinian people. Get involved and register with the People’s Congress of Resistance, which will meet in Washington, D.C., on September 16-17!