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Salt Lake City protests in solidarity with Palestine

By A. Romero |
August 9, 2014
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Salt Lake City, UT - More than 50 people rallied here, Aug. 9, at the Wallace F. Bennet Federal Building in solidarity with Gaza, and to honor the lives lost in the U.S.-backed Israeli attacks against Gaza. 

Lead organizer Sarah Simmons spoke about the need for action, “We will continue standing with Palestine until it is free.” She led the crowd chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” Passing drivers honked their horns in solidarity.

Muna Omar, a Palestinian American, talked about the ongoing refugee crisis: "I know many people here who grew up in refugee camps, and in the West Bank and slums of Lebanon." A major demand of Palestinians is the right to return to their homes and land that was stolen from them by Zionists.

Will VanWagenen spoke about the crimes of Israeli settlers. "A Palestinian boy was kidnapped, forced to drink gasoline, and then burnt to death." This took place in July in occupied East Jerusalem as the Israeli government prepared for the invasion of Gaza.

Frances Remillard of Utahans for a Just Peace in the Holy Land said, "11,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed. They have no water for half of the population of Gaza. For the other half, they receive water for five hours every five days."

"The atrocities committed by Israel should outrage the heart of any human being," stated Revolutionary Student Union vice president Gregory Lucero, "We have seen that neither the U.S. government, nor the Israeli government have one."

To end the rally, Chris Manor, also of the Revolutionary Student Union, spoke out against the U.S. government's attack on Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian American women’s leader who goes on trial in Detroit on Sept. 8. Odeh is being targeted because of her political organizing that empowers Arab American and Muslim women to speak out for justice. Dozens of people signed up to defend Rasmea Odeh at the rally.

Manor also called for a campaign to boycott, divest and sanction companies that do business with Israel. Some students are raising this on campus in an attempt to end Israeli apartheid.