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Grand Rapids march for Gaza

By Tom Burke |
August 11, 2014
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Grand Rapids march in solidarity with Gaza.
Grand Rapids march in solidarity with Gaza. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Grand Rapids, MI - Israel began air strikes, shelling and attacking Gaza with tanks on Aug. 8, after the end of a 72-hour ceasefire. Israel hit 150 targets and killed 15 more Palestinians. Palestinian freedom fighters are again defending the people against the invaders. The U.S. continues to call for talks while arming and supplying the Israeli military.

As part of a worldwide call for solidarity protests, 70 people rallied and marched for Gaza, Aug. 8, at the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building here. After sign waving on the corner, protesters slowly marched around the Federal Building and then downtown, passing the Rosa Parks statue as rush hour drivers looked on. One crazed pro-Israel man chased the march from across the street shouting and yelling, but the pro-Palestine march easily drowned him out.

As the Grand Rapidians passed the Union Soldier Civil War monument, they chanted, “Free, free Palestine!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” Scores of students and workers hurried to see what was happening, as the march passed corporate offices, apartment buildings and sidewalk cafes. One older woman amongst a group of friends nodded approvingly, and called out, “It’s apartheid!”

The march returned to the rally point at the Federal Building in high spirits and with a plan to honor the more than 1800 Palestinians killed by Zionist attacks over the past month.

Burton Kroes, one of the students leading the march said, “By rallying and marching we are reaching people who will not see us on the local corporate news shows. We are organizing people to oppose U.S. aid to Israel and end U.S. wars and adventures in the Middle East. As part of a huge global anti-war movement, we are having an impact!”