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Grand Rapids, MI rallies for Palestine

By Tom Burke |
June 14, 2021
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Palestine solidarity in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Palestine solidarity in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Grand Rapids, MI - 60 people rallied in solidarity for a Free Palestine in Grand Rapids on June 13. On the sidewalk at Veterans Memorial Park, dozens waved Palestinian flags and held signs demanding, “Free Palestine.” Young Palestinian Americans led chants, “Viva! Viva! Palestina!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” The crowd then moved nearby to the Union soldier statue for several speeches imploring people to organize and fight back.

“The so-called state of Israel has continued to provoke Palestinians. In the West Bank city of Jenin, Israelis invaded and killed several Palestinians a few days ago. They’re planning a ‘March of Flags’ in Jerusalem this Tuesday, a show of right-wing nationalism while evictions and land grabs are still happening in the city,” said Olivia Lashley of the Grand Rapids Anti-War Committee and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Lashley continued, “American imperialism can seem like this massive force - ‘How can you fight against a global empire?’ And yet people around the world are resisting, and in many cases, they’re winning.”

Closing the rally Lashley stated, “Today U.S. imperialism is shaking in its boots. The ruling class of this country is consumed with infighting, and their own citizens are restless and ready for change that the ruling class will never give them. The many nations they have under their heel are rising up and freeing themselves, and more and more the U.S., and its stooge Israel, struggle to hold back the wave of rebellion!”

Joe Cadreau spoke linking Native American struggles for sovereignty to today’s Palestinian struggle for liberation. Other speakers implored the crowd to demand an end to Israeli genocide against Palestinians, to support the Palestinian resistance, and to tell President Biden to stop U.S. aid to Israel. A young Palestinian speaker called on people to keep organizing as part of the worldwide movement for Palestinian liberation.