Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters march across DC
BY BRAD DRESS THEHILL.COM |
Tens of thousands of supporters of Palestine marched across Washington, D.C., on Saturday to protest the Israeli war against Hamas and the bombing of Gaza, flooding the streets and demonstrating outside the White House as they called for a cease-fire and an end to U.S. support for Israel.
Protesters gathered at Freedom Plaza on Saturday afternoon and rallied around speakers who cried out against what they called a genocide in Gaza.
Among the speakers was the rapper Macklemore, who told thousands of pro-Palestinian supporters he was “not afraid” to speak out against the war.
“We’ve been told to just be complicit to protect our careers, to protect our interests – and I’m not going to do it anymore,” Macklemore said atop a stage in Freedom Plaza to a crowd of cheering protesters. “I know enough that this is a genocide.”
Protesters banged drums, blew trumpets, flew Palestine’s flag and stormed across D.C. to speak out against the war.
They also held up signs that called for no more U.S. support for Israel and an end to the bombs falling over Gaza, which have killed more than 9,000 people.
Mohamad Ali, 35, traveled all the way from Boston, Mass., to attend the rally. Ali said he was upset about the “killing of children” and called for an immediate ceasefire.
“I look at Israel as an occupying entity that’s come over and took over the land of the Palestinian people,” Ali said.
Israel is fighting a major war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which launched a surprise attack on Oct. 7 and killed more than 1,400 Israelis while taking more than 200 hostages.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to completely destroy Hamas in retaliation while rejecting calls for cease-fires. The U.S. wants to protect innocent Palestinians and get more aid into Gaza but also says Israel has a right to defend itself.
The Saturday rally saw thousands of Palestinian supporters calling out Biden by name, accusing him of genocide just outside the White House and waving profanity-laced signs attacking his support for Israel.
A protestor in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4. (Brad Dress)
Ann Mustafa, of Montgomery County, Md., called for an immediate cease-fire and a greater flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.