Two dozen people gathered in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, on Aug. 13 for a speak out to express solidarity with the people of Gaza and Palestine. The demonstration was near New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office, and was organized by members of the Southern New Hampshire branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, 350 Action NH, Southern NH Communist Party USA, NH Peace Action, The Palestine Education Network and NH Veterans for Peace.
The action was called to raise awareness about Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza on Aug. 1, when the Israeli Military launched a three-day bombing campaign that killed at least 44 people, including 15 children.
Washington writes the checks, Israel carries out the crimes
Organizers handed out fliers outlining how Senator Shaheen has taken $90,729 in 2022 alone from the Pro-Israel lobby.
Elbit Systems is an Israeli weapons manufacturer that has been instrumental in the brutal occupation of Palestine and bombing campaigns against Gaza. The company has a corporate office and factory in nearby Merrimack, New Hampshire, where military and non-military goods — like aerospace and medical technology — are manufactured.
Armando Martins, an organizer with the PSL, told the crowd, “The Israeli lobby does not determine U.S. policy. It’s U.S. policy and the U.S. imperialist system that allow the Israeli lobby to flourish.”
“We gotta stop giving Israel $3 billion a year. I don’t think human rights were ever on the table for American foreign policy,” PSL member Mazin Sayed said. “By giving Israel billions of dollars in direct aid and billions more in business, the U.S. is aiding and abetting the oppression and assault on Palestinians. Washington writes the checks and Israel carries out the crimes. We gotta tell Senator Shaheen and every elected official in Congress to stop funding Israeli war crimes!”
Support for Palestine and all oppressed people of the world
“I haven’t stopped thinking about the way in which white supremacy supports the idea that multiple marginalized groups cannot exist at once without the destruction of one’s identity and community,” Elisabeth Bialosky, an organizer with 350 Action NH, told the crowd. “However, there is no pathway to Jewish liberation through ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Our liberation, both as a Jewish person and as a person that exists in community, will never be found through settler colonial violence.”
“The struggle for Palestinians echoes the struggle for indigenous people in this country,” said Raymond Plouhar, Chairman of the Southern NH Communist Party. “This is one step, but it means the world.”
Another attendee, Kevin, who did not share his last name, said, “I came out here to show my support to all the people in Palestine, and try to build more connections and organize with my local community. And to show our support for Palestine and all the oppressed people of the world.”
Proud Boys attempt to disrupt demonstration
A group of six Proud Boys chose the same day to stalk around Manchester to put up stickers, hand out “business cards” and intimidate pedestrians. They attempted to disrupt the street action for Gaza but found the protesters unmoved and unintimidated. As the Proud Boys passed by, PSL organizer Joy D.M.R. got on the bullhorn to say, “White supremacist activity will not be tolerated anywhere in the world. Zionist activity will not be tolerated across the world.”
The protesters rallied with more speeches and ended the event chanting, “New Hampshire stands with Gaza! I believe that we will win! Free, free Palestine!”