Stop the genocide in Gaza: Al-Quds is the capital of Palestine!

Thousands of people came to New York City’s Times Square on April 5 to commemorate Al-Quds Day. They were among the millions who marched around the world yesterday, the last Friday in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

The march in New York City was called by the Muslim World Congress and the Al-Quds Committee of New York. It was endorsed and supported by dozens of organizations, including Shut It Down 4 Palestine, a coalition that has become the center for Palestine solidarity organizing in New York City. 

Also known as Jerusalem, Al-Quds is the eternal capital of Palestine.

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 that day.

This year, the annual commemoration has taken special significance because of the genocide in Gaza. Over 14,000 Palestinian children have been killed there by Zionist war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu with the weapons supplied by Genocide Joe Biden.

Among the speakers at Times Square was Roger Wareham, a human rights lawyer and a member of the International Secretariat of the December 12th Movement. Wareham denounced the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland, which he compared to driving Black people out of their communities. 

Wareham noted that the first major shutdown of New York City organized by the December 12 Movement, the Day of Outrage in December 1987, coincided with the eruption of the First Intifada in Palestine. He led the crowd in a chant of “We ain’t going nowhere!”

The actor Susan Sarandon eloquently described those killed in Gaza. She gave numbers of mothers, children, health workers, journalists and others who have been killed.

Other speakers included representatives from such community organizations as PAL Al-Awda: the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Palestinian Youth Movement and The People’s Forum.

People marched from Times Square over to the Zionist state’s mission to the UN on Second Avenue and then down to 34th Street. The march, which spanned blocks, then went west to Herald Square, where a short rally was held.

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