Over 5,000 people converged on Washington DC on June 11th to urge their government to stop US support of Israeli occupation. It was the largest ever national demonstration against the Israeli occupation and drew demonstrators from all across the United States.
It began at the Capitol and then commenced to the White House, two symbols of the US foreign policy that has supported the Occupation in its war crimes. More than 300 organizations nationwide had joined to promote the demonstration and the diversity of the crowd â from all faith and ethnic groups – was reflected in the speakers who addressed the crowd.
âThis day has global importance,â stated Phyllis Bennis, of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, who sponsored the event jointly with the United for Peace and Justice coalition. âWhile we say no to US support for Israeli occupation, our counterparts from all around the world are saying the same message to their own governments.â
Mazin Qumsiyeh encouraged the crowd with a powerful speech on the strength and determination of the Palestinian people: âWe Palestinians never gave up believing because despite the Nakba, the catastrophe that saw the ethnic cleansing of 530 Palestinian villages and towns, and despite the Naksa that saw the occupation of the remaining 22% of Palestine, despite locking up 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners, despite the many disasters that followed…Despite all that and much much more, our people continue to struggle for freedom and surprise all by their struggle and resilience.â
The next day hundreds of activists lobbied their Congressional Representatives and Senators to call for change in US foreign policy in the Middle East.