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Appleton, WI: SDS and FRSO rally in solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle

By Staff |
April 18, 2022
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Appleton, WI - On April 13, the Appleton Students for a Democratic Society and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization held a rally that expressed solidarity with the Palestinian national liberation struggle and demanded an end to the Israeli occupation. These two organizations believe that the Western media continually fails to spread awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. Both organizations hoped the rally would help rectify that issue locally. 

Gustavo Zuniga, the deputy chair of SDS, initiated the rally by reading an official statement that delineated SDS’s stance on the Palestinian struggle: “Appleton SDS condemns the U.S.-backed, Israeli occupation of Palestine. We - an organization that stands in solidarity with all oppressed peoples - vehemently support the Palestinian national liberation struggle for self-determination against the settler colonial government of Israel. The nation of Israel exists on an expanse of stolen land, which must rightfully be returned to the Palestinian people by any means necessary.” 

Terrence Freeman, the chairman of SDS and a member of FRSO, added, “The ongoing liberation struggle in Palestine has been forgotten. It is time that we bring attention back to Palestine’s fight for freedom, and if you are truly progressive and anti-war, you must care about this fight.”

The rally organizers emphasized the West’s complicity in the oppression of Palestinian people, with Audari Tamayo, a member of both FRSO and SDS, proclaiming, “Israel’s crimes have always been supported by the Western world - with the missiles and bullets that kill and wound Palestinians simply defending their homes having the damn names of weapons manufacturers based in the U.S., France, Britain and other imperialist states.”

Freeman furthered this sentiment, saying, “Freeing Palestine will undoubtedly be a difficult task because the imperialist United States provides Israel with $146 billion in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding.”

The event included criticisms of a recent report released by the Amnesty International, which said Israel is an apartheid state.

“This report condemns certain features of the Zionist state like apartheid, while explicitly limiting itself to that legal framework,” said Freeman. “But, the report does not recognize Palestinian people’s right to oppose settler colonialism with armed struggle. It does not advocate for Palestinians to regain their stolen land by any means necessary. No, it operates within the narrow confines of Western law, and it is designed to suit the interests of the imperial West.”

In a similar vein of thought, Tamayo posed the following inquiry to the audience, “Why did Amnesty wait so long to go against the status quo and say what we already knew for years?” Tamayo put Amnesty’s report in a larger context, asserting, “NGOs and so-called human rights organizations like Amnesty were created to neutralize liberation movements and often helped Western states carry out the same oppressive agenda they are supposedly against.”

Freeman concluded the rally by attempting to bridge the struggles of Black and brown Americans with those of the Palestinian people: “Black and brown people in America, we must begin to see the Palestinian struggle as our own! We must realize that we are all fighting against white supremacy, racism and colonialism.”

He continued, “This is an international struggle, and we need some international solidarity! Did you know that Israel trains the NYPD cops that brutalize our people in New York City? It is clear that our struggle is one, and it must be united!”