The World Stands With the Palestinian Struggle
Thousands rally in Times Square in solidarity with Palestine (Photo: ANSWER Coalition)
Israel’s brutal response to the Hamas-led surprise offensive operation, has been met with sharp condemnation from people across the world. Mass protests have been taken out in dozens of cities globally in support of the Palestinian cause and to condemn the disproportionate escalation by Israel.
On October 9, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant harshened existing measures against Gaza when he announced a “complete blockade” of the enclave following the launch of the offensive by Palestinian resistance groups. In Gaza, there is to be “no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” Gallant said in a televised address. He also called Palestinians “human animals.” News reports claim that Israel is using the illegal chemical weapon white phosphorus against Palestinians.
Despite these clear violations of international humanitarian law, heads of state from across the global north have pledged complete support to Israel and harshly condemned resistance actions by Palestinians, with some deeming the actions as “terrorist”.
US, stop funding Israel’s crimes!
Amid the intensification of the violence, thousands took to the streets in cities across the United States, including San Francisco, Chicago, Tampa, Los Angeles, and Atlanta on October 8. The United States is the number one funder of Israel, sending an average of USD 4 billion each year to the occupier.
A rally in Times Square, organized by the ANSWER Coalition, the Palestinian Youth Movement, Al Awda NY, and others, drew particular attention of New York politicians. The Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, tweeted a day ahead of the rally started, “The people of Israel are facing violent terrorist attacks and civilian kidnappings. I condemn plans to rally in Times Square tomorrow in support of the perpetrators of these horrific actions. The planned rally is abhorrent and morally repugnant.”
The Peoples Forum responded to Hochul with worries that such statements sanction violent counter protesters. “We condemn the reckless comments of Gov. Hochul inciting hatred against our constitutional right to protest,” the organization wrote. “Resistance against oppression & apartheid is a fundamental right of the Palestinians. We stand with them in their just struggle.”
NYC Mayor Eric Adams also condemned the rally, writing, “At a moment when innocent people are being slaughtered and children kidnapped in Israel, it is disgusting that this group of extremists would show support for terrorism. I reject this.” Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres attributed the organization of the rally to the Democratic Socialists of America and proceeded to attack the organization writing, “The DSA is calling for the destruction of the Jewish State amid the largest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. When it comes to the butchering and kidnapping of Israeli civilians and children, the DSA leadership has no shame. No decency. No humanity. Only hate.”
These streets don’t belong to Eric Adams! They belong to all New Yorkers and today thousands of us marched in solidarity with Palestine despite the harassment and threats from your office and the NYPD.
New Yorkers stand with Palestine! https://t.co/nx98blEMgl
— Manolo De Los Santos (@manolo_realengo) October 8, 2023
Even still, NYC authorities took measures to impede the advance of the march. The New York Police Department prevented the rally’s organizers from using any form of amplified sound, and prevented the march from taking the streets despite thousands participating—highly unusual for protest actions in the city.
Following a similar protest in Tampa, Florida, ultra-right wing Governor Ron DeSantis denounced the rally in the city, and also in Fort Lauderdale. “Hamas is a terrorist group that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and commits atrocities to further that end,” he wrote.
A rally also took place on Saturday in Washington, DC, where protesters led chants such as, ““They got tanks, we got hang gliders, glory to resistance fighters,” referring to Palestinian freedom fighters entering Israel on hang gliders.
“THEY GOT TANKS, WE GOT HANG GLIDERS! GLORY TO RESISTANCE FIGHTERS!” 🇵🇸 now in DC pic.twitter.com/5ncVJT5nS5
— Calla (@CallaWalsh) October 8, 2023
In mainstream coverage of the rally, The Washington Post edited out all mention of Palestine to “Palestinian territories,” altering the title of the event from “All out for Palestine” to “All out for Palestinian Territories.” One of the supporting organizations had its name changed from Maryland 2 Palestine to Maryland 2 Palestinian Territories. In defending these changes, a Washington Post copy editor seemed to tacitly admit that there is an autocorrect function at the publication that changes the word “Palestine” to “Palestinian territories.”
¡Viva Palestina libre!
In West Asia and North Africa, thousands took to the streets to support Palestine. In Tehran, hundreds gathered at a central square named “Palestine” in a show of support. People also took to the streets waving Palestinian flags in Istanbul, Sana’a, Tunis, Beirut. Hundreds also rallied in Kuwait and Morocco.
Absolutely extraordinary scenes from Sana'a, Yemen 🇾🇪 today: pic.twitter.com/OQSyNHo2FW
— Alan MacLeod (@AlanRMacLeod) October 7, 2023
In Bolivia, a crowd gathered outside of the US Embassy in La Paz, expressing solidarity with Palestine, holding signs with slogans such as “It’s not terrorism, it’s self defense.”
In London, hundreds gathered outside of the Israeli embassy in London in support of the resistance.
Massive London Rally for Palestine happening now! pic.twitter.com/NxtkBLWNIp
— ashok kumar 🇵🇸 (@broseph_stalin) October 9, 2023
On October 9, hundreds marched in solidarity with Palestine in Sydney, Australia, organized by the Palestine Action Group Sydney. Demonstrators marched from Town Hall to the Sydney Opera House, which is scheduled to light up in white and blue in support of Israeli occupation. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese denounced the march, saying on Sydney radio 2GB, “I absolutely believe [the march] should not [go ahead]. I think people need to really take a step back.”
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.