A passionate fire for Palestinian justice burned in the hearts of many Connecticut activists this weekend.

On December 10, activists from all over the state joined together on the New Haven green in protest of Trump’s speech earlier this week in which he announced that the the U.S. would be the first country to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.

The statement is an attack on the very existence of the Palestinian people, furthering the oppression and
colonization of their homeland.

Rally co-chair Colleen from We Refuse To Be Enemies lead a crowd of 50 in opening statements of solidarity with Palestine. She was followed by chants of “Viva viva Palestina!” and “Long live Palestine!” before Mongi Dhaouadi, the director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) took to
the mic. “Zionists declare land theirs that is not theirs.” Mongi stated. “For our voices to be heard we must continue to organize, and come together, and unite, just like today with all the organizations coming together.”

Several organizers from various groups such as the Muslim Endorsement Council of CT (MECC), the Muslim Coalition of CT, and Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA) all came out in solidarity. Frank O’Gorman, an organizer from Connecticut, discussed the current state of solidarity in the U.S. “Just as white supremacy, Zionism has been emboldened with Trump’s regime. They seek to whitewash. Most Americans have no idea of the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Many of the organizers also made it a point to address that Jerusalem is and always will be a capital open to people of all backgrounds and all faiths.It is important we recognize in Connecticut that our senators supported this call for Zionist occupation and genocide. “How come Senator Blumenthal comes in solidarity to us (immigrants) but not the Palestinian people?” New Haven immigrant rights activist John Lugo from ULA asked.

Lugo pointed out that the urgency of support needed from those in power for the Palestinian struggle is similar to support needed for immigrants in Connecticut. “The pain that the Palestinian people suffer every day is a call for us to be united. All the struggles come together.”

“Every mosque spoke of the oppression. I’ve heard it from my grandfather, to my father. It has been systemic for years. To have your house knocked down and your land taken for racism, we have nothing more,” said Fahd Saed of his first hand experiences.

He continued: “Today I am Palestinian. Tomorrow I am Palestinian. I will always be Palestinian.”

It is the people of Palestine’s decision, not Trump’s, to choose their national destiny. The Palestinian people have spoken for Jerusalem to always be the capital of Palestine. It is our duty to Palestinians to stand up to Zionism, imperialism, and colonialism. It is our responsibility to show them Trump does not speak for us. We will fight to defend the Palestinian people, from the river to the sea!