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MN protest to mark Al Nakba: Demand no more aid to Israel

Drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh
By staff |
May 13, 2014
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Minneapolis, MN -The Twin Cities based Anti-War Committee (AWC) will hold a protest, Thursday, May 15 to mark the 66th anniversary of Al Nakba, to call for an end to U.S. aid to Israel and to demand justice for Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh. Starting at 4:30 p.m. at the Minneapolis Federal Building (300 South 4th Street) the protest will feature speeches by local anti-war, Palestine solidarity and Palestinian activists.

Events around the country will mark the Nakba this year with a united call for an end to U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and demanding justice for Rasmea Odeh.

May 1948 marks Israel's declaration of independence. To Israelis, it's a time of celebration. For Palestinians and Arabs it commemorates a time they call Al Nakba - Arabic for "the Catastrophe.” During the 1948 war, at least 750,000 Palestinian men, women and children were ruthlessly attacked, massacred and driven from their homes into refugee camps by Zionist terror groups. In a gross violation of international law, they continue to be denied the right to return. At the same time, the establishment of Israeli settlements steals more Palestinian land every day.

From 1949 through 2013, Israel has received $118 billion in U.S. aid to fund the occupation and uphold a system of apartheid rule.

AWC member Meredith Aby-Keirstead explains, “Our protest aims to challenge the role U.S. military aid plays in continuing the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Given that the peace talks have fallen apart again, it is clear the Obama administration cannot serve as a broker for peace. Instead, the U.S. government aids Israel in its oppression of the Palestinian people. We are part of a growing international Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement to oppose that. ”

Protesters will also demand justice for Rasmea Odeh, a leader of Chicago’s Arab community who faces serious charges in a case that is part of a long-standing campaign of repression against Palestinians and those who work in solidarity with them. Her case is tied to the FBI and grand jury investigation of the AWC and others. This Twin Cities Al Nakba protest will join those from around the country to demand justice for Rasmea. Her case is set to come to trial in Detroit on June 10.

The program will include community leaders and speakers from endorsing groups: Malak Abu (American Muslims for Palestine); Mariam Al Khatib (Students for Justice in Palestine); Sylvia Schwartz (MN Break the Bonds); Tracy Molm (Committee to Stop FBI Repression); Coya White Hat-Artichoker (Indigenous Queer Sicangu Lakota activist); and poetry by Sarah Thamer (Palestinian American writer). Sabry Wazwaz will emcee, and Misty Rowan will speak, for the AWC.