Around 700 people gathered in San Francisco’s Mission District on Saturday, May 14 to commemorate the 74th anniversary of Palestinian resistance to the establishment of the Zionist colonial state of Israel. Organized by the Palestine Action Network, the event mourned the murder by an Israeli sniper of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian journalist who for 25 years had covered the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. The night before the rally, an art build took place where the names and images of cities, towns, and villages erased by the Zionist colonization effort were re-created using cardboard and paint. These reminders of the history of Palestine before the Nakba were held high in the rally and march the next day.
After a short program of speakers at 16th and Valencia Streets, the militant crowd took over the street and marched, looping through the Mission and returning to the starting point. After a few more speakers, the rally closed with a cultural performance. While there was sorrow and anger at the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, and the ongoing occupation by Israel, there was confidence that, as the marchers chanted, “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea.”
PSL Rhode Island organized a public Nakba Day study titled: The struggle for Palestine against Imperialism at Burnside Park, Providence, Rhode Island on May 15, at 1pm. The study was based on reading from several chapters of PSL published book, Palestine, Israel and the US Empire. The reading was followed by a discussion. 20 people came for the study and several of the participants were Palestinians.
On May 14, protesters gathered around the Federal Building in Los Angeles at 11 a.m. The event was hosted by PYM, AMP, Palestinian American Women’s Association, Yalla Indivisible, Al Awda: PRRC, ANSWER and others. A spokeswoman for AMP discussed the attacks on Shireen Abu Akleh’s funeral and stated, “Zionism polices our bodies, even where there is no life in it.” After a program that included calls for justice for Abu Akleh’s murder, an organized mass movement to defeat Zionism and the end of U.S. support for the israeli regime, demonstrators took over the streets marching down Westwood. Demonstrators displayed international solidarity chanting, “From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go!”
On May 15, the PSL and the Colorado Palestine Club planned to hold a rally for Nakba Day, an event that is always well attended in the city. Earlier this week, a group on TikTok and Facebook had called protests all over the country to defend Roe, including one in Denver for the same time and place as the Nakba Day rally. Organizers with the Nakba Day rally attempted to contact the pro-choice organizers but did not hear back. No pro-choice organizers in Denver showed up to lead the rally, but 150 people still showed up! For many, it was their first protest.
The PSL and the Palestinian organizers were completely down to connect the struggles, and the two protests merged. In a powerful display of unity, the two groups marched together, chanting, “Legalize abortion now!” and “Free Palestine!”
As PSL speaker Joel Northam said: “The Palestinian movement has shown us how to fight for many, many years. They continue to be a model for many different movements for liberation, including here in the United States.”
The Palestinian Youth Movement held a Nakba Day remembrance event and vigil for martyred journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. PYM was joined at San Diego’s Balboa Park by the PSL, Jewish Voice for Peace San Diego and others. Over 100 people came out in support, holding up signs and waving Palestinian flags.
The event featured several tables with activities, food and art exhibits, including a tatreez (hand embroidery) workshop and a large interactive walk-through Palestine map showing Palestinian cities and the people forced to flee them since 1948. The event ended with speeches, a moment of silence for Shireen Abu Akleh, as well as the promise of continued resistance.
At least 300 people came out to Westlake Park in Seattle to a rally and march called by Falastiniyat, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, Jewish Voices for Peace, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights at University of Washington, Seattle University Students for Justice in Palestine, the Palestinian American Community Center of Washington State and End the Deadly Exchange. Speakers included Aisha Mansour from Falastiniyat as well as Stephanie Gallardo, an anti-imperialist candidate for U.S. Congress in District 9 running against Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, and others. After the rally protesters marched around downtown. Despite heavy rain, energy was high.
Around 30 community members gathered on May 14 at Allston, Massachusetts’ Palestinian Cultural Center for Peace for a group study on Nakba day put on by organizers from the PSL and the ANSWER Coalition. Community members from many backgrounds collectively studied materials detailing history starting from Napoleon’s first attempts to capture Palestine in 1799 to the modern day struggle. A Palestinian 4th grader in attendence was particularly excited to participate in group readings and report backs, eventually getting on the mic to say “Palestine will have its rematch.” Dinner was served over rich discussion of Palestinian history and how organizers in the U.S. can show solidarity.