Hundreds of people came to New York City’s Times Square on April 14 to commemorate Al-Quds Day. Rallies were held that day in dozens of cities around the world, including eight in the United States.
Also known as Jerusalem, Al-Quds is the eternal capital of Palestine. The holy city has been a special target of the Israeli apartheid regime that occupies Palestine. Homes of Palestinians are torn down to make way for settlers, many of whom were born in the United States.
A call to mark Al-Quds Day in solidarity with Palestinians was made in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution. Since then rallies and demonstrations have been held worldwide on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
This year, even more than usual, Israeli cops and troops have viciously attacked worshippers in Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Tear gas was repeatedly used against Palestinians who were praying.
This brutality was the backdrop for the Times Square rally. It was organized and led by the Muslim Congress and the Al Quds Day Committee. Speakers, including a rabbi, attacked the Zionist regime. Also speaking were representatives from Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition; Within Our Lifetime; the ANSWER Coalition; and the International Action Center.
Speaking for Struggle-La Lucha newspaper and the Socialist Unity Party, Steve Millies said that “working and poor people in the United States have no interest in supporting the apartheid regime that occupies Palestine. While Zionist police attack worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, New York City cops just murdered a 78-year-old Black man in Brooklyn.
“The racist state of Israel wouldn’t even exist without the $158 billion it’s gotten from the U.S. government,” said Millies, a retired railroad worker and union member. “Meanwhile 30 million people in the U.S. have had their food stamps cut.
“We need an Intifada right here against rising rents, skyrocketing food prices and trigger-happy cops! Not billions to oppress the Palestinian people.
“Two million poor people are locked-up in prisons from coast-to-coast. All the Trumps and banksters should be jailed instead. The Zionist state and its ghetto walls are a prison for the Palestinian people.
“We need jobs and peace. Not a trillion-dollar Pentagon budget. The Zionist regime is a police force that Wall Street and Big Oil uses to preserve their empire.
“A little more than 40 years ago, if you looked in a Rand McNally Atlas, it would show a country in Southern Africa that they called ‘Rhodesia.’ The people of Zimbabwe―through years of armed struggle―wiped that racist obscenity off the map.
“The people of Palestine will wipe the Zionist state off the map. Long live Palestine!” Millies concluded.
Long live Palestine! Al-Quds is the eternal capital of Palestine!
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