With a cry of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” 30,000 people gathered in Washington DC for a pro-Palestinian demonstration that ran through the heart of the city. The march was organized to demand a ceasefire, and to protest Joe Biden’s allocation of funds to Israel.
“Biden is using a double standard,” they say during the march, “and he is asking for money to fund a war that needs to be stopped.”
Representatives and supporters of various Muslim groups gathered at Freedom Plaza in the capital, before protesting in front of the White House. The Answer coalition has issued a call to action on its website, urging support for the besieged people in Palestine, especially in light of the ongoing bombardments in Gaza and Israel’s refusal to provide humanitarian aid in the form of basic necessities like medical equipment, essential supplies, and medication. “The liberation of Gaza is a step towards the liberation of all oppressed peoples,” they continue, “colonialism is failing, and Americans, who have been struggling for decades to be a colonial power, are realizing this.”
People from all over the United States arrived at the march, and many buses were blocked for hours at the entrance to Freedom Plaza. The march aligns with similar protests in various cities around the world, part of a growing movement calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict and an end to U.S. and Western military aid to Israel.
According to the Gaza Health Ministry run by Hamas, Israeli actions have resulted in a significant number of casualties, including thousands of children killed and displaced people. The Israeli military intervention came in response to a Hamas attack from Gaza, which resulted in the death of 1,400 Israelis and the kidnapping of more than 200 hostages. In Washington, the march for a free Palestine is sponsored by various organizations, including the Palestinian youth movement, the American Muslim Alliance, the National Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Coalition for the Right to Return in Palestine.
It has also received support from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Palestinian Council, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Among the speakers at the event, Palestinian writer and activist Mohammed El-Kurd addressed the crowd, reminding them of the importance of “not being afraid to take a stand, even if it comes at a high price, such as losing friends and jobs. We are here to remind the world that you cannot turn a blind eye to a genocide committed by those who have themselves been victims of it”.