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Hundreds join, thousands witness: Minneapolis Gaza solidarity action

by staff |
August 8, 2014
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A die-in at the front door of the largest newspaper in Minnesota
A die-in at the front door of the largest newspaper in Minnesota, the Star Tribune, protesting the failure to cover to the large scale Palestine solidarity demonstrations. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - A Twin Cities protest in solidarity with Gaza, Aug. 6, included a dramatic expression of solidarity with the people of Gaza - a die-in at the front door of the largest newspaper in Minnesota.

As names of Palestinians killed in the Israeli attack on Gaza were read, a participant would lay on the sidewalk in front of the doors of the Star Tribune office doors. Over 50 people joined in the die-in.

It was a moving expression of the tremendous loss of life caused by the latest war in Gaza.

One participant said, "The die-in gave expression to the horrible loss of life that has been the result of the war on Gaza."

The protest was called by the Anti-War Committee (AWC) and supported by a range of organizations.

The protest started off at the office of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. For almost an hour over 200 people picketed Klobuchar’s office to demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel. People honked their car horns in solidarity with the protest, waved and yelled support.

Organizers with the AWC say that Senator Klobuchar has failed to represent her constituents by her recent actions. “She has co-sponsored two resolutions supporting Israel’s military aggression under the lie of ‘self-defense’, signed on to AIPAC letters to the president, and on July 17 she voted for Senate Resolution 498 in support of Israel’s war of aggression on Gaza even as Israeli troops were invading,” said Meredith Aby-Keirstead for the AWC. Aby-Keirstead traveled to Gaza as part of 2002 delegation in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

After the picket at the office, there was a street march through downtown rush hour traffic that ended at the Star Tribune office building. Thousands of people saw the march as it made its way through rush hour traffic.

A statement issued by organizers explained the march to the Star Tribune as being part of a call for fair media reporting on the growing international movement in solidarity with Palestine.

Organizers note that thousands of people have joined Twin Cities area protests over the past month, but media has largely ignored the local community response to this ongoing crisis. Aby-Keirstead said, “By failing to report on mobilizations that have both upheld the courage and endurance of the Palestinian people and demanded an end U.S. support for Israeli war crimes, local mainstream media has served the war agenda.”

Organizers oppose the ongoing policy of sending $3 billion annually in military aid to Israel, but are also critical of special funds sent during the current crisis. “On July 23, the U.S. Defense Department tapped into a $1 billion weapons stockpile the U.S. keeps in Israel to resupply Israel’s reign of terror. President Obama claims to ‘support peace’ by increasing military aid to Israel while it is waging a brutal war on Gaza.” Aby-Keirstead continued, “According to the Gaza health ministry, as of Aug. 4, at least 1867 have been killed, including at least 429 children. Our tax dollars have funded the bombing and targeting of schools, hospitals, homes and even UN shelters.”

Protesters acknowledged the current ceasefire but also pledged to continue taking to the streets so long as Israeli attacks continue and to hold Minnesota's members of Congress accountable for their anti-Palestine voting records.

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