Communities in Los Angeles came together on Saturday for a protest in support of Palestine and to demand an immediate end to the Israeli occupation and the ongoing siege in Gaza.
Over 5,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel’s military launched a retaliatory campaign against Hamas, whose militants carried out an attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
Nearly 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack.
Protesters said they wished to highlight how Israeli forces are continuing to deprive 2 million people in Gaza of basic ndemonstrationeeds, including water and electricity, while US authorities restrict humanitarian and medical aid from reaching them.
“I’m tired of what the US is doing in all these other countries, I’m tired of what we’re funding with our tax dollars, I’m tired of seeing innocent children murdered, I’m tired of all of the hate and the division … I’m here to call for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation,” protester Kimberly Henken told Arab News.
Abir Al-Zowidi, from Beit Hanoun in Gaza, said she attended the protest to support her family: “I just lost, in the first three days of the war against Gaza, seven of my family members.”
Protestors included people of Arab origin as well as Americans from different backgrounds who expressed deep concern about the ongoing crisis.
“It really breaks my heart to see people of all ages suffer from a 70-year-old occupation, you know, and it’s far too long. It’s inhumane,” Omar Pai said.
“We can no longer accept any actions from … governments that feel like they (can) do whatever they want … It violates our human rights,” he added.
Another protester, who wished to remain anonymous, told Arab News that people in power and celebrities should speak out on the issue.
“They need to condemn Islamophobia and they need to change the narrative that Palestinians and pro-Palestinians are terrorists because that is extremely harmful to Arab Americans and we’re afraid to even grieve publicly for our people because people will label us as terrorists,” the protestor said.
Source: Arab News