July 1 was declared an International Day of Rage against Israel’s latest attempt to annex Palestinian lands. The Israeli apartheid regime, backed by the Trump administration in the U.S., plans to annex its illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jordan Valley — land that rightfully belongs to Palestinians. Not only is this decision illegal under international law, but it will displace thousands more Palestinians from their homes.
In Los Angeles, more than 200 cars with signs, banners and Palestinian flags drove slowly from the Westwood Federal Building to the Israeli Consulate. There, activists held a loud rally. They chanted and shouted down a small group of Zionist supporters who gathered nearby.
Drivers continued to circle the block around the consulate, honking their horns and slowing down traffic on one of the busiest boulevards in L.A.
The action was called by Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition and co-hosted by the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice, Code Pink, Labor for Palestine, the Answer Coalition, the Palestinian Youth Movement and others.
A rally held outside the Herbert R. O’Conor State Office Building in Baltimore demanded “No Israeli annexation! Free Palestine! End the deadly exchange!” The latter demand refers to the way that U.S. police agencies use the Israeli military to train cops in the brutal techniques used to suppress Palestinians fighting for their rights and self-determination. U.S. police come back and use these same tactics against Black and Brown people and protesters here.
“We’re here today, without apology, to demand an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” said Andre Powell of the Peoples Power Assembly. “The U.S. government gives billions of dollars each year to prop up the racist regime in Israel, while, in this country, people go without schools, hospitals, medical care and food.”
“The Baltimore police train directly with the Israeli Defense Forces,” said Miranda Etel, a young Jewish activist and a leader of Youth Against War and Racism. “So are thousands of cops from across the U.S. And we hear reports of Palestinians being repressed with the knee on the neck, the way George Floyd was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.”
Along with YAWR and the PPA,, the Malaya Movement DMV/Baltimore and the Socialist Unity Party co-sponsored the action.
Brooklyn: One struggle for liberation!
Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Bay Ridge neighborhood saw one of the largest Day of Rage actions. Thousands flooded the streets in an area that is home to many Palestinians and other Arab people.
The protest was led by Within Our Lifetime-United For Palestine and organized by the NY4Palestine coalition, which also includes Samidoun, Al Awda, American Muslims for Palestine and several chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine. It explicitly linked the defense of Palestinian lives and land with the Black-led uprising against police terror here.
“There can be no Palestinian liberation without Black liberation!” declared Nerdeen Kiswani of WOL-UFP, who chaired the opening rally.
Speakers included Nefretti Larkin of the December 12 Movement; longtime prisoner rights activist Dequi Kioni Sadiki of the Jericho Movement; representatives of the Filipinix movement BAYAN-USA; the Red Nation, an organization of Indigenous revolutionaries; New York Boricua Resistance, representing the Puerto Rican independence struggle; Nodutdol, a Korean American organization fighting for reunification of the Korean peninsula; Bill Dores of Struggle-La Lucha; Suzanne Ross of the International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; and many more.
Recorded remarks by U.S. political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal gave the signal to march.
The lead banner declared: “NYPD = KKK = IDF, One Struggle for Liberation.” Palestinians and supporters chanted, “Not just annexation, not just occupation, we want liberation, bring the whole thing down!” A small group of bigots from the racist “Jewish Defense League” fled the area as the crowd took over Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue.
The protest marched across Brooklyn for four hours, gathering support and cheers in that borough’s diverse, multinational neighborhoods. Marchers chanted, “From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go!” and “No justice, no peace, no Israel, no police!” before ending at Barclays Center with a Dabke, the traditional Palestinian folk dance.
Two days later, on July 3, another large march was held across the river in North Bergen, N.J., organized by American Muslims for Palestine-N.J.
According to the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, other July 1 protests took place in occupied Palestine; San Francisco; Chicago; Salt Lake City; Albuquerque, N.M.; Portland, Ore,; Boston; Seattle; Philadelphia; Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga and Claremont, Calif.; Halifax and St. Catherines, Canada; San Jose, Costa Rica; Oldham and Bedford, England; Toulouse and Saint-Denis, France; Amsterdam and The Hague, Netherlands; Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany; Madrid, Granada, Valencia, Valladolid, Sevilla and Bilbao, Spain; Athens; Istanbul; Johannesburg; and Seoul.
More actions were planned for the following days, including in Berlin; Amman; Copenhagen; Toronto and Mississauga, Canada; Dublin, Ireland; Derry, North Ireland; Lyon, France; London; Auckland, New Zealand; Detroit; Cleveland; Lisbon; and other places.
Greg Butterfield, Bill Dores and Scott Scheffer contributed to this report.
Videos: Los Angeles: https://www.facebook.com/scott.scheffer.7/videos/10223439531955390/
Brooklyn, N.Y.: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=296163601755902