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Utah SDS rallies in solidarity with Palestine

By Sean Taylor |
September 1, 2016
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Utah rally in Solidarity with Palestine
Utah rally in Solidarity with Palestine (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT - Fifteen people joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) outside the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, Aug. 27, in solidarity with Palestine after the most recent attacks. The week before, over 50 airstrikes were launched in less than an hour by the apartheid state Israel against Gaza. The barrage was the worst since Operation Protective Edge in 2014 which killed over 2100 Palestinians.

The rally began with chants of “Viva viva Palestina!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” which drew in passers-by from the street.

Theresa Nielson, president of SDS at the University of Utah, condemned the airstrikes as the continuation of the violence and terror that is at the foundation of the Israeli settler state and she called for an end to the billions in financial and military aid given to Israel.

Brooks Bergmann, also with SDS, spoke out against the imperialist intervention in the Middle East and called for support of Palestinian resistance. “The Palestinians have continued to fight for their right to self-determination and we are standing here in solidarity to say we will never accept the wall on the West Bank,” Bergmann said.

After Bergmann’s speech, Nielson led chants of “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!”

Ian Decker of Freedom Road Socialist Organization covered the ongoing political repression of the Palestinian American activist Rasmea Odeh, who was unjustly convicted in 2014 for immigration fraud. In fact, she was a victim of torture and rape by Israeli interrogators in 1969, and her ongoing prosecution is an attempt to silence her.

Nancy Hansen, one of the several passers-by that joined the rally, commented that tax money should not be going to Israel, but instead to the local homeless shelters, where many people in Utah are in need of education and jobs.

Speakers and attendees also expressed solidarity with Palestinian hunger striker Bilal Kayed.

The vice president of SDS, Sean Taylor, closed the rally, stating “The government that excuses police lynching, allows students to pile up mountains of debt, and weakens unions is the same government that supports Israel and bombs the Middle East,” they said. “We cannot expect the people who profit from our exploitation to suddenly grow a heart. We need to build organizations and struggle in the street.”

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