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Minneapolis remembers Deir Yassin Massacre

By Meredith Aby-Keirstead |
April 10, 2016
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Protesters at the Deir Yassin memorial in Minneapolis.
Protesters at the Deir Yassin memorial in Minneapolis. (Credit: Meredith Aby-Keirstead

Minneapolis, MN - On April 9, 30 people braved a cold spring day to protest U.S. aid to Israel on the 68th anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre. Protesters held a banner saying “End aid to Israel! Free free Palestine!” and signs at the intersection of Lake Street and Nicollet Avenues and then marched to the Deir Yassin memorial on the Greenway in Minneapolis. The protest was organized by the Minnesota Anti-War Committee.

Deir Yassin is a Palestinian village west of Jerusalem and the site of a massacre of over 100 men, women and children by Zionist paramilitary gangs on April 9, 1948. The remainder of the village’s 750 people fled for their lives. After their expulsion, the Palestinians’ homes were destroyed, their cemetery bulldozed and their land claimed by Zionist settlers.

Before the march, Sarah Martin, a member of Women Against Military Madness, spoke about the significance of U.S. military aid to Israel. Martin explained, “Due to the quantity and scope of U.S. weapons deliveries to the Israeli military, it is highly unlikely that even the most routine Israeli military patrol could be accomplished without utilizing U.S. ammunition and guns, communications equipment and vehicles. Israel repeatedly has used U.S.-supplied tear gas to break up Palestinian nonviolent protests. Israeli soldiers often have fired high-velocity tear gas canisters directly and deliberately at protesters, to gravely injure and kill both Palestinians and U.S. citizens.”

After the march, Katie Warren, a new member of the Anti-War Committee, spoke about the importance of defending the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. “Today, as we remember Deir Yassin, let us also remember to support the BDS movement, by standing in solidarity with Palestinians and alongside Students for Justice in Palestine at the U of M and by the daily choices we make that reflect our values.”

Warren continued, “The next time you’re thirsty for a Coke or one of Coca-Cola’s 3000 beverages, just think of the 3.7 billion U.S. dollars going to Israel each year and of U.S. complicity in the conflict, think of the stolen Palestinian land upon which some Coca-Cola plants operate, and think of the Palestinian families still losing homes and lives, being silenced, or waiting for their right of return. Today is an action to raise awareness of the history of attacks on Palestinians and to show how those attacks continue today. We can take action together. Be being a part of the BDS movement we are joining with millions internationally to take a stand with our government and with businesses to say we will not support these attacks and the stealing of Palestinian land.”

Other speakers included Karen Schraufnagel representing the Campaign to Stop the Jewish National Fund, Craig Wood representing Veterans for Peace Chapter 27, and Sabry Wazwaz of the Anti-War Committee.

The Minnesota Anti-War Committee’s next Palestine protest will be on the anniversary of Al-Nakba, May 15, at 1:00 p.m. at Loring Park in Minneapolis.

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