SF State students joined hundreds of protesters yesterday at the San Francisco Ferry Building to bring attention to the Palestinian struggle for liberation and to demand an end of Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Organizations from all over the Bay Area, including the General Union of Palestine Students from SF State, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and the Arab Youth Organization participated in the All Out Palestine protest, joining demonstrators around the world. AROC and the Arab Youth Organization are both groups from the SF Bay Area.
“As a Palestinian living in the United States, it is our duty to hold the U.S. government accountable for their role in the Zionist occupation of Palestine,” said Lara Kiswani, of AROC. “I am frustrated and outraged as I watch my people being massacred.”
AROC is an organization that works towards a more just society by addressing economic, social and political impacts of anti-Arab racism through political education, organizing events and political support, according to their website. AROC works with Arab communities throughout the SF Bay Area.
Kiswani said she feels inspired by Palestinian advocates’ resilience and their will to fight back.
“I’m moved by our community and allies here who took to the streets today with over 6,000 people marching and honoring our martyrs,” Kiswani said.
The protest started with a roar of supporters chanting “Free, free, free Palestine!” Palestinian flags waived through the air as more chanting came from the crowd. “Long live Palestine!”
The day of the All Out Palestine protest marked the deadliest day of the war thus far.
“At least 66 deaths from a single neighborhood have already happened today,” said Linda Ereikat of the Arab Youth Organization.
“What’s happening in Gaza right now is a massacre which Israel claims to be self defense,” said Samar Aburahma, a board member of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, San Francisco Chapter and SF State student. “Reality is, more than 500 Palestinians are dead, with 80 percent of casualties being civilians and the majority of the death toll is the elderly, women and children.”
Aburahma said the most disturbing part is that Israel is blaming the victims for their own death.
“It is a modern day holocaust,” said Aburahma.
“Colonization of Israel in Palestine and genocide must come to an end,” said Rafael Moreno, member of the Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations (SKINS). Moreno was an active participant in the rally, speaking to the crowd right before marching. “We are in solidarity with the Palestinians,” said Rafael.
San Francisco’s Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition has planned another demonstration in support of Palestine at 1 p.m. July 26 at the United Nations Plaza. Go to http://www.answercoalition.org/sf/index.html for more information.