Thousands of pro-Palestine demonstrators, led by children, youth and parents with strollers, shut down Boston’s Downtown Crossing holiday shopping district on Dec. 17. They honored the 10,000-plus children of Gaza who’ve been slaughtered, many in their sleep, since Oct. 8 by bombs marked “Made in the USA.”
While Palestinian and Jewish children made moving appeals from the back of Labor for Palestine’s sound truck, calling on Israel to immediately cease its genocidal fire, protestors placed dozens of bloodied, child-sized mock shrouds with Palestinian flags at the entrance to Macy’s department store. Many tourists and families, out for a holiday shopping spree, joined the solemn and angry crowd, heeding its call to, “Stop your shopping! Bombs are dropping!”
Demonstrators carried kites emblazoned with lines of poetry from the martyred professor of world literature at the Islamic University of Gaza, Refaat Alareer. He was assassinated along with six members of his family by Israeli Occupation Forces’ targeted bunker-busters on Dec. 6. “If I must die, let it bring hope, let it be a story,” read many of the kites.
The Boston Coalition for Palestine — founded in early October by the Palestinian House of New England and now consisting of over 30 Boston-area organizations — next marched the crowd to Quincy Market, shutting down Congress Street at colonial Faneuil Hall (across the street from Boston’s City Hall) for nearly an hour. Inside, the U.S. National Park Service was hosting well-heeled tourists and local politicians celebrating the 350th anniversary of the so-called Boston Tea Party, the fabled 1773 settler revolt against British taxation of imports to its colonies, such as foodstuffs and humans in chattel bondage.
Faneuil Hall is named for Peter Faneuil, one of Boston’s wealthiest settler colonizers, who profited from the purchase, sale and superexploitation of enslaved African and Indigenous people.
“Not another nickel, not another dime! No more money for Israel’s crimes!” reverberated throughout the tourist trap between speakers from the Palestinian Youth Movement and UNITE HERE Local 26, both of whom demanded that the U.S. immediately end all aid to the apartheid Zionist regime.