There Is Hope—and a Growing Movement for Palestine. Join Us in Washington D.C. on Saturday.
The time is now for people from all walks of life to raise their voices and demand Biden call for a cease-fire and for the United States to stop funding war and oppression.
For nearly a month now, we’ve seen an assault on Gaza unlike any of the many other previous escalations since the siege began 16 years ago. So far, more than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military which has indiscriminately dropped thousands of bombs — striking schools, hospitals, mosques and homes. Some 1.4 million Gazans have been displaced. Simultaneously, in the West Bank, Palestinians have faced violent raids and arbitrary imprisonment with more than 10,000 Palestinians currently sitting in Israeli jails.
But as the conditions for Gazans continue to worsen, I’ve also found a glimmer of hope in what appears to be a burgeoning anti-imperialist movement responding to this moment. Masses of people from all over the world — at least hundreds of thousands — have come out in support of the Palestinian cause and against the Israeli government’s brutal policy of collective punishment.
As a Palestinian, I am forever changed by this moment — and I know that many others, of all different backgrounds, are too.
As an organizer, I’ve heard for years that the Left needs to revive a strong anti-war movement against the United States’ imperialist wars abroad — specifically a movement that centers internationalism in a way that wasn’t fully present for Iraq or Afghanistan.
Now, people all over the United States are questioning the government’s ties to Israel, asking why billions of their tax dollars are going to fund a state that occupies and brutally oppresses people, and that justifies the murder of more than 3,600 children. These people of conscience have made it their mission to be on the frontlines of a call to respond to this moment by permanently shifting the tide on Palestine. People all over the country have decided that now is the time to escalate, to be out in the streets, to risk arrest and state violence, and to demand that the needs of Palestinians are met.
Now, more than ever, this broad chorus of people from all walks of life needs to raise their voices and relentlessly pressure the U.S. government to stop spending money on oppression and instead on the needs of the people they’re purportedly supposed to serve.
That’s why I’m going to Washington D.C. on Saturday, Nov. 4 — and I hope you’ll join me.
The march in Washington D.C. for Palestine is being organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), U.S. Palestinian Community Network, National Students for Justice in Palestine, ANSWER Coalition, The People’s Forum, Al-Awda, American Muslim Alliance, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Maryland2Palestine and the Palestinian Feminist Collective, and it is also being sponsored by a broad range of more than 200 other solidarity organizations. This march is set to be the largest one for Palestine in U.S. history and is set to lay the groundwork for a continued effort to pressure Biden into calling for a cease-fire.
Buses are being organized from all over the country to head to D.C. this weekend — tickets from Chicago keep selling out. A common question in chats has been whether anyone has an extra seat in their car. Flights from Chicago aren’t cheap, but people are digging deep into their pockets to make sure they don’t miss this moment.
The protest in Washington D.C. is sure to be powerful — and it’s our hope that it will be transformative and a pivotal moment both in the short and long-term struggle for Palestinian liberation. But we also know with clarity that the path ahead of us must be one of continued escalation until the 16-year-old siege on Gaza is finally lifted and the U.S. ends its more than $3.3 billion in annual aid to Israel.
A recent poll showed that 66% of voters support a cease-fire — including 56% of Republicans, 57% of Independents and 80% of Democrats. Meanwhile, only 18 of 435 members of the House of Representatives have signed a cease-fire resolution. What will it take for our politicians to side with the American public?
Maybe millions out on the streets on Nov. 4 — alongside sustained efforts in cities around the world — will force them to reconsider.
In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?
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Nashwa Bawab is Assistant Editor at In These Times. She is an organizer and reporter with bylines in The Intercept, Electronic Intifada, Texas Monthly, The Texas Observer and more.