40 years of Occupation
Above are Peace Action and SPAN [we didn’t bring the water-soluble SPAN banner for fear of rain, note: don’t make banners with washable paint] activists last week at the World Says NO to Israeli Occupation rally and march in DC. Click on the picture above from more photos of the event from our Massachusetts Peace Action folks who were there.
Over 5,000 people turned out, despite the ominous looking rain clouds early in the afternoon, making it the largest event in support of Palestinian rights ever. The crowd was upbeat and hopeful, the speakers were amazing and young people made up much of the gathering.
That we live in a world where events calling for respect of international law and human rights as necessary to achieving peace attract counter-protesters is disturbing and a sign of the great polarization about the Israeli-Palestine conflict. The counter-protesters were small in number, and it seemed that many of them had missed the memo that the purpose was not to demand an end to the Israeli state, and a number of peaceful and nonviolent conversations were had between those in the march and the counter-protesters.
We have a long way to go on this issue, but the only way to peace is to start with all sides recognizing and respecting human rights and international law. As a country we must also challenge the role of our government in furthering the conflict by giving $3 billion in aid to Israel each year, a chunk of which is military aid that comes right back to U.S. weapons and vehicle manufacturers as corporate welfare.