The writer has been a fighter for a Free Palestine since before the first Intifada.
On July 18, as the Israeli ground troops moved into Gaza, the people of New Jersey responded with a demonstration on Main Street in South Paterson.
“Say no to this unjust war on Gaza,” cried out Imam Dr. Mohammad Qatarani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County. “The people of Paterson, New Jersey, stand up for justice in Palestine.”
The rally organizers announced the Aug. 2 National March on the White House to stop the massacre in Gaza.
“I think we have to speak the truth against Zionism. We are complicit through the use of our tax money that is used in the destruction of Gaza and the West Bank,” said Donna Nassor of the International Peace and Research Association.
“We must insist on the mainstream media to be truthful—and we have the internet and social media at our disposal and a lot of youth share that opinion,” explained Yusuf with a group of Turkish activists at the protest.
“While they are cutting afterschool programs and people are losing their homes, people are losing their jobs or can’t feed their families here—is that fair? Obama has money to send to Gaza to kill my cousins,” said 15-year-old Douaa Abufaris, who has played on the same beach where the Baker children were murdered by Israeli shelling.
As the people voiced their demands to stop the Zionist invasion supported with U.S. tax dollars, Gov. Chris Christie, who often claims to be the voice of the “Jersey Strong,” called on the federal government to increase aide to the apartheid state of Israel. The people can reclaim this phrase to show the power of the people who are mobilizing in the state against the invasion.
Jennifer Valencia, a mother of two from Middleton down the Jersey Shore, drove more than an hour to be present at the protest. Valencia said, “We need to be inclusive in our organizing, to cross borders of all groups of people to forge relationships to end the occupation.”
Valencia committed to just that kind of work: “I’ll be at the White House on Aug. 2!”