Worldwide Protests Condemn U.S. and Israel

Revolutionary Worker #1147, April 21, 2002, posted at

Outrage at the brutal Israeli/U.S. attacks and massacres of Palestinian people has ignited mass protests on every continent.

The Moroccan capital of Rabat had the biggest protest in its history. At least a million people marched Sunday, April 7, the day before U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell came to town. In Jordan, there have been literally hundreds of demonstrations, including an attack on the Israeli embassy on April 5.

In Cairo, the capital of Egypt , 80,000 people marched to support the Palestinian people on March 31. The next day, students took to the streets, charging the Israeli embassy and fighting running battles with the police. University, high school and middle school students were joined by many others in the fiercest demonstration since the 1991 Gulf War. There have also been protests by the Lawyers' Syndicate and other professional organizations in Egypt.

In Lebanon , where thousands of Palestinian refugees live, protesters burned tires in the streets. The government was forced to allow protests in the refugee camps for the first time in years.

Many protests have targeted the U.S. as well as Israel. McDonald's and KFC restaurants were destroyed in Cairo and protesters have burned U.S. flags throughout the Middle East.

Bahrain , a series of islands in the Persian Gulf with a population of 700,000, is the home of the U.S. 5th Fleet. On March 30, 7,000 protesters marched on Palestinian Land Day. "Taking part in such a demonstration is the least anyone can do," one 43-year-old man told reporters. "We are ready to give up our lives." The next week, demonstrators attacked the U.S. embassy with rocks and Molotov cocktails. One protester died after being hit in the head by a projectile fired from the embassy.

Big marches occurred in Sohag and Alexandria, Egypt ; in many cities in Saudi Arabia ; in the Arab countries of Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Tunisia . In Kuwait , 4,000 people gathered in the capital and chanted "Death to Israel and Death to the U.S."

In dozens of U.S. towns, large and small, diverse groups have protested Israeli atrocities.

As George Bush and Tony Blair met in Crawford, Texas , to plan more crimes against humanity, several hundred gathered at a community center to protest.

Militant demonstrations have rocked the campus of UC Berkeley . On April 2, hundreds took the streets and marched to a major intersection and blocked traffic for hours. A Palestinian youth whose family lives in Ramallah later wrote, "When I saw that a lot of the protesters last night were Americans and Jews, something inside filled me with spirit and happiness to the sight of diverse races and religions helping the Palestinian cause."

On April 9, in remembrance of the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre in which over 250 Palestinians were murdered by Zionist gangs, 1,500 people gathered in Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley. After a rally and march, 250 people occupied Wheeler Hall. An RCYB member who was arrested with 78 others in the hall reported: "The Students for Justice in Palestine, the group that organized the day, issued a list of demands and insisted on negotiating with the Chancellor. They called out the University of California for supporting Israel and demanded it begin divesting immediately. When the Vice Chancellor came to threaten us with suspension or possibly expulsion if we continued to occupy the building, we countered his threats with determined resistance and 80 of us stayed inside, sat down, and linked arms."

The next day a coalition of labor unions and Jewish Voice for Peace had a picket and sit-in at the Israeli consulate in San Francisco , where at least 20 were arrested.

Thousands have marched in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Houston and Atlanta . There have been almost daily protests at Times Square in New York , including actions of over 2,000 people. Protest actions have happened in Atlanta, Kansas City, Missouri; Austin, Texas; Lansing, Michigan; Santa Clara, California; Dearborn, Michigan; and Dayton, Ohio .

Cornel West, Harvard professor and prominent Black author and Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun , a liberal Jewish journal, were part of a group of 26 activists who were arrested on April 11 while blocking the street in front of the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. The protesters were demanding that the U.S. act to stop Israeli violence against Palestinians.

There have been protests in Mexico City; Managua, Nicaragua; and Buenos Aires . In Canada , protests have been held in Toronto , Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver .

In Jakarta, Indonesia , tens of thousands of marchers, most in traditional white Moslem dress, waved Palestinian flags and chanted "Save the Palestinians." There were actions in other cities in Indonesia as well. In Bangladesh and Pakistan there have been mass protests. Demonstrations have also been held in Australia and New Zealand.

In Pretoria, South Africa , on April 10, a group of women chained themselves to the offices of the UN. That same day, 1,000 to 1,500 people gathered in a solidarity demonstration in Reykjavik, Iceland .

There have also been protests in Israel itself. On April 5, over 3,000 Israelis and others, including international activists, staged a march to the Kalandia checkpoint. They were attacked with tear gas and clubs by Israeli cops, but two trucks they had filled with supplies for besieged Palestinians managed to get through.

In Gothenburg, Sweden demonstrators burned U.S. flags. Ten thousand marched in Berlin , 20,000 in Paris , 50,000 in Rome and several thousand in London . There were other actions in Amsterdam and The Hague ; Lyon and Bayonne, France; Budapest, Hungary; Chemnitz, Germany; and Berne, Switzerland .

Demonstrators in Manchester, England , staged a die-in to dramatize the massacre of Palestinians. In Spain , actions took place in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid and Zaragosa . Protests have also taken place in Athens and other Greek cities. On April 6, Cypriot, Turkish, Kurdish and Palestinian youth marched in Nicosia, Cyprus .

Stories and photos of protest actions around the world, as well as messages of solidarity, have been posted on the Palestine Indymedia website, in an effort to get the news to the Palestinian people that the world is watching, and that people around the world are standing with them against Israel's brutal occupation.

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