Enraged at the deaths, arrests, and beatings at the hands of Israeli settlers and the Israeli Defense Force, activists in Seattle gathered downtown at Westlake Park to raise awareness and voice their concerns. Chants of “Free, free, Palestine” and “While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping” could be heard as people passed by Starbucks and Macy’s.
Activists included Warda, a student from Chief Sealth H.S., who came to Westlake to “raise awareness and let people know what’s happening. Most people just watch T.V., CNN or something, and think ‘that’s what happening, they’re telling the truth’ but there’s a lot behind it and there are a lot of innocent people that are dying. I just want to be their voice in a way. I work, and I don’t want my taxes going towards dropping bombs on innocent children.” Anas, a 26 year old activist born in Seattle but whose parents are from Libya, has another word for what’s happening in Palestine. “…straight up genocide, I don’t even like to use the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ cause that would give affirmation to the fact that it is somehow cleansing the land. What we have is mass genocide on the Palestinian people and that’s why I’m here, to speak out against the atrocities. I think we should contact our local representatives in the government and speak out against the support of the Israeli Government. Billions of dollars of taxpayers hard earned cash is being spent for the Israeli government and that’s a crime against humanity.” In 2015, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the United States, the majority of which is Foreign Military Funding. US Foreign Aid To Israel 2014 Congressional Report
On the megaphone, activist and organizer Isra Ayesh could be heard leading chants of “Hey Obama why the silence? Do something about the violence” and when asked why she braved the rain to protest at Westlake, she replied “We’re here as a collected group of concerned individuals, members of the human race, no non profit organization. We’re here to send a message to the public that this is actually going on in Palestine and there’s not enough media attention going on about these merciless killings of Palestinians who committed no crimes against anybody and meant no harm and were shot just because they were Palestinian.” Videos depicting these crimes have been showing up in alternative media around the internet, but have yet to garner much corporate media attention. Refugee mistaken for Palestinian killed after mistaken ID by lsraeli citizens and this article from Al Jazerra Palestinians killed by Israeli Occupation Forces give a few possible examples of why you may be seeing a resurgence of demonstrations concerning Palestine, in Seattle.
From the Facebook event page…”Based off the resent events we find it highly important to start protesting. At this point we need to make some noise. The Democratic’s are unsupportive and the republican are out of the question. The recent events of Palestinians cold blooded murders shouldn’t go unheard or unpunished.
Therefore, I’m asking as a collective we must come together to protest for the people in need around the aggression and occupation that has taken over Palestine. We need to explicitly define Israeli war crimes on innocent people!
Let’s stand together and do what is right! Please invite everyone you know and spread this event like wild fire!”