CHICAGO, IL – Hundreds of Palestinians and their supporters joined Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine as people across the globe responded to a global call from Jerusalem in support of the Palestinian struggle for liberation from Israeli occupation and colonization. Chicagoans gathered like tens of thousands of others in European, African, Latin American, Asian, and Arab World cities, to sing Mawtini, the Palestinian national anthem. The performance was filmed and uploaded to be produced with all the others into a social media extravaganza never before seen.
The event was held Friday, November 6, 2015, at the Plaza in front of Old Water Tower (corner of Pearson Street and Michigan Avenue), downtown Chicago.
Since October 1, close to 80 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military, police, and paramilitary settlers; almost 2,500 have been injured; and according to Addameer, the main prisoners’ support organization in Palestine, 1,195 have been arrested, including 177 children. Of the arrested, 31 were charged with “incitement” through social media.
While the Israeli government and military occupation forces’ daily attacks and crimes against the unarmed Palestinian people continue, and while racist European and American Jewish settler gangs regularly march into the Al Aqsa Compound in Jerusalem, where Palestinian Muslims pray; into villages in the West Bank; and into Palestinian cities like Al-Khalil and Nablus, the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the US Congress unanimously passed a resolution two weeks ago, condemning the Palestinians themselves for inciting violence against Israel.
“It is ridiculous that the U.S. and most Western European governments are blaming us for this violence,” says Bassem Kawar of CJP and the United States Palestinian Community Network. “This most recent Palestinian expression of self-defense began a few days after racist Israeli settlers burned 18 month old Ali Dawabsheh alive. Because the U.S. gives Israel unequivocal support, President Obama is also accountable for Israel’s blatant racism and violations of our human rights. Tonight, downtown Chicago will swell with patriotic pride, support for our people, and demands that U.S. ends all aid to Israel!”
The mobilization was convened by the Coalition for Justice in Palestine (CJP)-Chicago, which includes civic organizations, grassroots projects, and groups with roots in the community’s Christian and Muslim communities. Lead organizational members are American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Chicago Islamic Center, Palestinian American Community Center, Palestinian American Council, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-Chicago, and the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN).