October 30, 2023
From The Real News Network
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Over 200 demonstrators gathered in front of City Hall in Baltimore on Friday, October 20, and subsequently marched through the streets of downtown Baltimore, to protest Israel’s retaliatory bombing of Gaza after the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks, and to call for an end to Israel’s 75-year occupation of Palestine. The rally and march, billed with the title “We Won’t Back Down: All Out for Palestine!,” was cosponsored by The Party for Socialism & Liberation (PSL), Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) Baltimore, Baltimore Student Union, Runners 4 Justice, Friends of Latin America, and Baltimore BLOC.

TRNN was on the ground covering the event. The following recording includes a number of speeches delivered at the rally, as well as on-the-ground interviews with Rachel Viqueira of PSL and Sammy Alqasem of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), DC-MD-VA Chapter. Other speakers include: Rafiki Morris of the All African People Revolutionary Party (A-APRP); Duane “Shorty” Davis of Baltimore BLOC; Anna, a self-identified Jewish American against the Occupation; Jameela of the Black Alliance for Peace; Elias of PSL; and Sammy Alqasem of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), DC-MD-VA Chapter.

Post-Production: Alina Nehlich


Transcript

The following is a rushed transcript and may contain errors. A proofread version will be made available as soon as possible.

Crowd:

Free, free Palestine! Free, free Palestine! Free, free Palestine. Free, free Palestine. Free, free Palestine!

Speaker X:

We have a guest speaker this next speech, and his reputation speaks for himself, he’s from the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, the A-APRP, that is Mr. Rafiki Morris.

Rafiki Morris:

Free, Free Palestine.

Crowd:

Free, Free Palestine!

Rafiki Morris:

Free, Free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free Free Palestine!

Rafiki Morris:

From the River to the Sea!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Rafiki Morris:

From the River to the Sea!

Crowd:

Palestine will be Free!

Rafiki Morris:

Sanuqatil hataa alnasr!

Crowd:

Sanuqatil hataa alnasr!

Rafiki Morris:

Sanuqatil hataa alnasr!

Crowd:

Sanuqatil hataa alnasr!

Rafiki Morris:

That means: We are going to fight until victory. I’ve been having a hard time this week because I’ve never seen this kind of slaughter and massacre on the TV; on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, all of them! Showing mass murder and comparing the murder and massacre of thousands and thousands of people to a shootout at a party. Now y’all might not like what I’m getting ready to say, but you know a Zionist is a settler!

The people who died, they lived in a kibbutz. You know what a kibbutz is? A kibbutz is a settlement. It’s a place where settlers go to settle.

Crowd:

On Palestinian land!

Rafiki Morris:

Now, in order to settle on somebody’s land, the first thing you’ve got to do is take the land! Kill the people! Push them into concentration camps and set up your kibbutz. Now when you do something like that to human beings, you can’t get upset when they break out of your concentration camps. You can’t get upset when they come to your party and say, how come I wasn’t invited? It’s my land!

This is what settlers do. Now a lot of y’all now coming out here today because of what they are doing in Palestine, but you are living on settlers land too!

This land don’t belong to them. This land was settled. They came in, they stole the land, they came in, they killed the people and they pushed them into the reservations. The reservation ain’t nothing more than Gaza. And in Gaza, they call it the Gaze Strip, in the United States they call it a reservation. In South Africa. They called it a Bantustan. It’s a concentration camp set up by murders, thieves and liars! I want you to know who the enemy is!

Crowd:

Amen.

Rafiki Morris:

All Jews are not Zionists. And all Zionists are not Jews! The Zionists operate by two basic things; institutions and ideas, and this is where you’ve got to fight them, because you got to know their institutions when you see them, and you’ve got to understand their [inaudible 00:04:07] ideas when they pump it to you on that TV! So let’s see if we know what’s going on! City Hall is a Zionist institution!

In fact, you can look around you. Every building you see is a Zionist institution! The US government is a Zionist institution. Joe Biden is a Zionist. The Washington Post are Zionist! The Washington Times are Zionist! And if you against what they doing in Palestine then you need to be against the Zionist who’s running your country and spending your money to murder the masses of the people, all around the world, enough is enough! That’s your tax dollars killing my babies. That’s your tax dollars destroying our homes, that’s your tax dollars destroying our hospitals and our schools and our culture and our lives. And you know what it is to them? A real estate deal.

It’s about the land y’all, they’ve come to steal the land, that’s what settlers do. They want Gaza. So they tell them, leave through the entryway at Egypt. And when the people get up and go to that entryway, what they do? They drop bombs on them!

They say, go to the south, you’ll be safe there. Get out of Gaza City. And when they leave Gaza City and go to the safe place, what do they do? They drop bombs on them! They say there’s no place safe in the city, but you can hide in the hospital. What do they do? They drop bombs on them! I’m in the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party and we have said it for a long time, we will continue to say it, “If you bring bombs to us, we’re bringing bombs to you!”

And we believe in that eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth God, that God who don’t believe that you can serve him or her, and serve the devil at the same time! And this is what they’re telling you, that they represent God. That’s the devil. That’s evil incarnate! That’s murder. That’s massacre. That’s mayhem. That’s the destruction of human life, and we have had enough, and enough is enough!

No more! No more! No more! Death to Zionism. Death to imperialism. Some of y’all think you can get rid of Zionism and keep imperialism, but it ain’t going to happen. Some of y’all think you can get rid of Zionism and keep capitalism, but it ain’t going to happen. Some of y’all think you can get rid of Zionism and keep these Democrat party Zionist pigs that have run Baltimore my whole life! Ain’t never did a damned thing for you, and you think you can get in bed with them and support the Palestinians? Hell no! Because they are the enemies of the Palestinians! So I’m going to stop now, but I want y’all to do me a favor because there’s a lot of tears, a lot of grief, a lot of blood in the streets. So in between the tears I want you to organize.

When your little baby says mommy and daddy, why are they doing that to them people on that television? We want you to politically educate your babies. When your grandmama comes and says, why are they doing these things in Israel? Tell her, that’s not the Israel of the Bible. That’s the Israel of Wall Street. That’s the Israel of the capitalist. That’s the Israel of Zionism. Granny, don’t pay them no mind, read your Bible right. Organize!

Crowd:

Organize!

Rafiki Morris:

Organize!

Crowd:

Organize!

Rafiki Morris:

Organize!

Crowd:

Organize!

Rafiki Morris:

Organize!

Crowd:

Organize.

Rafiki Morris:

And stand with us as we always do, ready for the revolution. Thank you very much.

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Rafiki Morris:

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Rafiki Morris:

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Rafiki Morris:

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Speaker X:

Thank you to Mr. Rafiki Morris for coming and speaking to us.

From the river to the Sea!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Speaker X:

From The River to The Sea!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Speaker X:

From The River to The Sea!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Speaker X:

From the river to the sea!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Speaker X:

That’s right. Our next speaker is someone who I think everyone has already heard tonight, [inaudible 00:10:02] legend, [inaudible 00:10:03], he’s an icon. A lot of us know him, we all love him. Our next speaker, put your hands together for [inaudible 00:10:10].

Speaker 2:

Can you hear me?

Crowd:

Yes!

Speaker X:

[inaudible 00:10:20], get your mic, there’s people way in the back there!

Speaker 2:

Can you hear me?

Crowd:

Yeah!

Speaker 2:

I was born in 1959. I’ve been watching you kill Black people in America all my life! Black people have been in America for 400 years, and all we’ve been doing is filling graveyards and their penitentiaries. I’m in solidarity with Palestine! I’m in solidarity with Palestine! I’m in solidarity with Palestine! This ain’t my fight, this is our struggle! Yours, and my struggle!

We traded the penitentiary for the plantation, cotton for cocaine, and Baltimore’s kids is the cash crop. The militarization of our police department ain’t no different than Palestine. You go on North Avenue in Greenmount, it’s like, “It is what it is, look at it…”

You can compare them same zones to war zones! We got a war on drugs and that war’s been on the Black community, you feel me? It’s been on the Black community far too long. White people get treatment, they get to go to Wyoming. We get central booking.

I’m standing in solidarity with Palestine, because their fight is our struggle. If you don’t understand right from wrong, this is motherfucking wrong! This is motherfucking wrong!

This is motherfucking wrong, and you can’t use a Black face to push it! You can’t use a Black face to push it! Racism don’t work without Black cooperation, that’s why it’s called Jim Crow. The Palestinians are experienced Jim Crow, except it ain’t called Jim Crow, it’s called killing and murdering. War crimes, the Jews was persecuted back in the 1940s, my daddy served in World War II… We buried people, you killed Black Army people the same time that you were trying to help the Jewish community. You killed scores of Black people during that war and nobody say nothing about it. What about Oklahoma? When they sent bombs to Oklahoma and killed the whole community, and you got one survivor left now, but you ain’t did nothing about it! What about the MOVE movement in Philadelphia? What about the MOVE movement in Philadelphia?

I stand with Palestine! I stand with Palestine! And that’s what I got to say.

Who got next?

Speaker X:

[Inaudible 00:13:32]. Our next speaker is someone who represents an important perspective that Zionism is not equivalent with Judaism!

Speaker 3:

Never again for us, never again for anyone! My pain is not a justification for war! My fear over the future of Jewish people in the world will not be used as a justification for genocide in Gaza! It goes against every ounce of my Jewish identity! I will forever say no to state sanctioned violence in my name!

Free, free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free, free Palestine!

Speaker 3:

Free, free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free, free Palestine!

Speaker 3:

Free, free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free, free Palestine!

Speaker X:

Our next speaker is an amazing organizer with the Black Alliance for Peace, Baltimore Citywide Alliance. She’s going to help us bring some perspective on the connection between Palestinian liberation and the liberation of Black and African people worldwide. Give a round of applause to our next speaker, Jamila.

Jamila Osman:

Hey y’all. All right, so my name’s Jamila, and I’m a part of the Black Alliance for Peace, the Baltimore chapter, and I’m here to read a statement about what we are thinking about what’s going on in Palestine right now.

The Black Alliance for Peace stands in solidarity with the people of Gaza and all Palestinians under occupation in the racist apartheid state of Israel. We recognize the right of Palestine to exist, and the right of Palestinian people to resist occupation. We call on all African people to remember our long tradition and solidarity with Palestine. We condemn the monstrous and cowardly actions of the racist Zionist entity, which is committed to mass atrocities against 2 million people who are locked in an open air prison in Gaza. As we cradle Zionists indiscriminately bombing civilians in Gaza, while characterizing Palestinians as animals, we are witnessing an international crime in real time, a genocide.

This is a genocide that is fully supported and celebrated by other western racist settler states and a morally depraved international community. The real world, is that the world is beyond the 10% of the global population, okay? So the collective west is outraged by a systematic barbarism it is witnessing in the collective punishment of Palestinian people in Gaza. What is their crime? To rise up against their occupying power? To take the daily war that they have endured in Israel, murders and incarcerates their children, bombs their infrastructure, denies them medical care, cuts off their water and supplies…

Sorry, y’all… This is bullshit, you know what I mean? To take that war to the occupying power itself, they’re taking it to their front doors, they broke out of jail, they’re freeing themselves! The Black Alliance for Peace condemns the barbarianism of the illegal Zionist settler colonial apartheid state. We fully support the Palestinian people’s right to fight against occupation and we defend the Palestinian calls for decolonization and their right to self-determination. Since there is no fair and just international law to support the Palestinian peoples, we will continue for the right of all peoples to struggle for national liberation, self-determination, and people-centered human rights. The Congressional Black caucus in the US Congress as well as their congressional representatives, including the phony, progressive cause, have abandoned the Palestinian people and given their support of Israel. Shame on them!

Crowd:

Shame!

Jamila Osman:

Shame! But we remember the solidarity that the Black people in the US received from Palestine in 2020, as they fought against the Israel trained police forces across the United States, during the George Floyd protest. We also say that this attack on Gaza mirrors the pending attack on Haiti by the racist Western colonial forces. Both represents the racist violence and absolute contempt for human life that has been corner stoned by the rise of European rule over the planet. The Black Alliance For Peace will not abandon the Palestinian people. Solidarity must be mutual!

Both people suffered the consequence of living in a white supremacist, settler colonial state. We are bound together by that reality, in our collective struggles. With the full support of the Western international community, the insane fascist Netanyahu government has temporarily displaced the consequences of international contradictions in Israel with this war it’s waging on Palestinian people, but the ultimate contradiction, the contradiction between the colonial state and the colonized people will be resolved with the victory of all colonized people, of that we are certain. Palestine will be free!

Speaker X:

Ashay!

Crowd:

Ashay!

Speaker X:

Ashay!

Crowd:

Ashay!

Speaker X:

Ashay!

Crowd:

Ashay!

Speaker X:

Our last speaker before we start moving, is someone I’m lucky enough to call one of my own comrades in the party for Socialism and Liberation, and someone who’s going to remind us of the importance of not just being against something, but as revolutionaries, as being for something.

So we’ve got to put our hands together for my comrade, Elias.

Elias:

Greetings comrades and friends, can you hear me? My name is Elias and I’m with the party for Socialism and Liberation. We want to thank you for being here, and thank everybody that helped organize this. Today we gather to say we won’t back down! We won’t back down because of the cold or the rain or the elements, when thousands upon thousands of Palestinians are left to the elements as they lose their homes and their very lives! We won’t back down when the media spews lies and twists history before our very eyes, we say no! We won’t back down under pressure or ridicule, we won’t back down amidst hailstorms of Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian hatred. We say no to the racist apartheid state!

We say no to genocidal wars! We say no to the displacement!

Crowd:

No to displacement!

Elias:

No to the ethnic cleansing!

Crowd:

No to the ethnic cleansing!

Elias:

We say no to the endless cycle of systemic violence against the Palestinian people. And we say no more US tax dollars funding these war crimes!

Crowd:

No more!

Elias:

That’s right. We cannot sit idly by while we foot the bill for the crimes against the Palestinian people, while millions of Americans struggle in the belly of the beast begging for basic healthcare rights, drowning in debt, and hoping for crumbs from a heartless corporate regime! The US ruling class has been clear, they have no money for the poor, only money to fund against our brothers and sisters across the world!

As members of the working class in the United States here today, the ones who keep the country and the world running with our labor, we will not sit idly by while billions of our tax dollars fund this genocide. We’ll not sit idly by while this deadly onslaught of Israel against the people of Palestine is justified as self-defense against terrorism. But today, guess what? We don’t just say no with our words, we say no with our marching feet, [inaudible 00:21:52]! We say no with our numbers! With rallies and marches across the country declaring our unabashed solidarity and support for Palestine.

We say no with our resilience!

Crowd:

No!

Elias:

Because we won’t back down!

Crowd:

We won’t back down!

Elias:

And we cannot back down in this moment in history unraveling before us, while the media shamelessly funnels American homes with racist rhetoric against the Palestinian people. Shame!

Crowd:

Shame!

Elias:

We cannot be intimidated by bad faith critics that yell antisemitism, because we say no to Israel’s war crimes. At a time when thousands of Palestinians are already dead over the last week, we cannot and will not be intimidated into neutrality on this. If we back down when the Palestinians are bombed, if we back down when they’re slaughtered in the streets, we cannot call ourselves lovers of humanity.

Crowd:

We won’t back down!

Elias:

If we back down, we cannot call ourselves lovers of peace.

Crowd:

We can’t back down!

Elias:

That’s why we say no to the USA funding apartheid and genocide. We say no to all capitalist warmongering!

Crowd:

No!

Elias:

And we say no to all capitalist warmongering!

Crowd:

No!

Elias:

Today we say no more terror against the people of Palestine!

Crowd:

No more terror!

Elias:

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Elias:

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Elias:

Three free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Elias:

But guess what? That’s what we say yes to. We say yes to peace! The people of Baltimore say yes to a free Palestine! We say yes to ending the cycle of systematic violence against Palestinians, and we say yes to full liberation of the Palestinian people!

I want to end with a chant, you’ve heard it before, but as was shared with my comrade [inaudible 00:24:19] earlier, we put a little Baltimore twist onto it, so I want you guys to repeat after me: From the east to the west!

Crowd:

From the east to the west!

Elias:

Baltimore will attest!

Crowd:

Baltimore will attest.

Elias:

From the river to the sea!

Crowd:

From the river to the sea!

Elias:

Palestine will be free!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Elias:

From the east to the west!

Crowd:

From the east to the west!

Elias:

Baltimore will test!

Crowd:

Baltimore will attest!

Elias:

From the river to the sea!

Crowd:

From the river to the sea!

Elias:

Palestine will be free!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Elias:

From the east to the west!

Crowd:

From the east to the west!

Elias:

Baltimore will attest!

Crowd:

Baltimore will attest!

Elias:

From the river to the sea!

Crowd:

From the river to the sea!

Elias:

Palestine will be free!

Crowd:

Palestine will be free!

Rachel Viqueira:

Hi, my name is Rachel Viqueira, I am a member of the party for Socialism and Liberation. And I guess right now we’re on the outside of a march and rally that just happened, demanding a free Palestine here in Baltimore, in front of City Hall.

Speaker 6:

You’re right, I mean it’s coming up on 9:00 PM, as you mentioned we are standing right here in downtown Baltimore in front of City Hall, after what was a pretty sizable march. I mean I spoke with you, what about 10 days ago?

Rachel Viqueira:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 6:

That was around maybe October 9th, 10th? And y’all were out here, including with folks from the Palestinian Youth Movement and other community members, but it was a smaller crowd. And then today there were hundreds of people here. So I wanted to ask if you could just say a little bit about the path from there to here, both as we’ve been watching in horror as these events unfold, and also what you all at PSL have been doing in that time to bring us here tonight?

Rachel Viqueira:

So I think a few things have happened in the last week and a half or so, I think the publicity and the escalation of the violence that Israel has done to Palestinians; bombing a hospital, I think murdering over 3000 martyrs if I’m having the count correct, that has really enraged people and it’s really… You can see around the country people mobilizing in a similar way. And I think what we were able to do in the time from our last rally and this one today, was really create a space where people could have an outlet for that rage, to tell people that they don’t want murder being done in their names, that they don’t want our tax dollars going to weapons and murder in Palestine. That we can recognize the struggle from settler colony to settler colony, and we know that we have to stand in solidarity with Palestinians if we want to see anything change here right now.

And I’ll say, us here at the party for Socialism and Liberation, in the city, we are really fortunate to be able to provide a backbone to these kinds of people’s movements so we can recognize and analyze the conditions that exist in the city. People have been going to major cities; to DC to New York, to engage in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. But people right here in Baltimore… This is a fight that’s directly relevant to us as well. And we know it implicitly, even if there’s not always words for it.

I’m sure people have brought this up, but IDF and BPD trained together, the APL, Hopkins APL has designed drones that are surely being used right now at this very moment. We recognize that the same tear gas that’s being thrown in Palestine is being thrown on us when we’re struggling for Black liberation in the streets. So for us, what was really important was being able to ground that struggle here in the city, and bring together a lot of different groups that haven’t worked together before. And I think as much as I would love to say, oh, we did it, blah, blah, blah… No, it was really a collective effort and a lot of relationship building, building of struggles in day-to-day life led to what I think was a pretty good turnout given this rain.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, no, it wasn’t fun standing out there in the rain, but it didn’t seem to bother that many people?

Rachel Viqueira:

No, not at all.

Speaker 6:

Well, and I want to kind of pick up on that for a second and ask, just like what you’re hearing from the folks that you’re reaching out to, that have been coming to you, the folks that attended this march, and like you said, I think there’s probably a lot of similarities that you’re hearing on the organizing side, that we’re hearing over at the Real News, right?

Rachel Viqueira:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 6:

I think a lot of folks reaching out to us, who maybe are seeing up close the violence of occupation more than they ever have on mainstream network news. And they don’t have a lot of that background context because it’s been deliberately kept out of the public narrative for so long. And even as we speak now, there is a sort of massive consent manufacturing apparatus that is silencing certain voices, that is uplifting others. I mean, it’s kind of a shit show, but the point that I’m getting at is that I think a lot of people are finding organizations like yours, that are finding news organizations like mine through this. And what I’m hearing is folks just… They want the death to stop. They don’t want anyone to die and they don’t know what to do.

And so I guess the question is, for the folks who are gathered here, how is that energy being channeled? What is there that people here in Baltimore can do in the heart of empire, to make the death stop?

Rachel Viqueira:

I think that’s a question that a lot of people are trying to answer, and for us, revolution and these kinds of goals, to get your genocidal fascist government to stop murdering people across the world, it takes organizing at many different levels. So I’ve seen people… Call your Senator, call your Representative, I’m not going to knock it because that also has its importance. That has less importance if people are not also mobilizing out in the streets and showing that this is something that they want and that they want to demand it.

So we have to be organizing at different levels constantly if we want a ceasefire, and more than a ceasefire, more than just stopping the violence, we want to return all land to the Palestinians. We have to be out in the streets. We have to be educating. We can be working and interacting with the government, that too is a valuable tool in the struggle. So whatever level that you can take, whatever is your skill, for us, that’s the thing that we want to be able to capitalize on. And it takes all of that together to build a whole new system that we can actually use to replace what we have currently.

Speaker 6:

This.

Rachel Viqueira:

Yes. A disaster.

Speaker 6:

Well, and I guess because I know I got to let you go, it’s been a long day, and I just wanted to ask with the remaining minute or two that I have with you is what happens now, right? I mean, like I said, we’re standing here Friday night, October 20th, there was mention of a large march on DC in the coming weeks, also feels like there’s going to be a lot happening in between that. So I guess for folks, especially folks listening here in Baltimore, but for people around the country, I guess what comes next after tonight?

Rachel Viqueira:

So I think after tonight, of course, like you mentioned, there’s the November 4th mobilization. And I know that we as the PSL will be working to send people, not just by cars, but maybe get a group together and take the MARC train down to DC, and if can we get a really big contingent going, that would be amazing! But in addition to it, there are so many events that are happening in the city, and I think too, the reason that tonight’s turnout was so large is because each of these events, each of these different organizations, individuals participating across the city, is like snowballing. So in the meantime, whatever protests, rally, march, if it’s painting together, if it’s a talk, it’s education, these are all valuable things to go to and to continue building on top of to the next big event. So every org has a role to play, every individual has a role to play, but we can only see the results that we want to see, which is a return to a free Palestine if we’re all working kind of collectively in that way.

Crowd:

[inaudible 00:33:04].

Speaker X:

All right, our final speaker of the night is going to clarify what the Palestinian struggle means to the Palestinian diaspora and what it means to Palestinian people in the US. He’s from the Palestinian Youth Movement, give it up for Sami!

You know how that shit works right, Sami?

That’s right, Sami!

Sami Huraini:

Can everybody see me?

Crowd:

Yeah!

Sami Huraini:

Can everybody hear me?

Crowd:

Yes!

Sami Huraini:

I’m with the Palestinian Youth movement, I’ve been the guy running around in the crowd asking if you’re Palestinian, giving you flyers and stuff if you’re Palestinian. That’s because I’m a part of the Palestinian Youth Movement. We are a transnational, grassroots, independent organization of Palestinian and Arab youth fighting for the liberation of our people and homeland!

I come here to speak to you all tonight, not to deliver a message of hope, because hope is already here! Nor did I come here to encourage you to join the fight for the liberation of Palestine because by being here tonight, you’ve already joined the fight!

Instead, I come here to deliver a message about two key points that we need, especially in Baltimore city and the surrounding counties, to continue the fight for the liberation, the full liberation from the river to the sea of Palestine. And those two things are organization and unity! When there is a national call for a march in DC, we must organize our people and unite to help bring them to DC. On the fourth, I want to make an announcement, there will be a national march, and all organizations and peoples across the country will be uniting in DC, 100,000 people. Let’s do what we can to make it a million people!

But we’re all from Baltimore, we know what a pain in the ass it is to get to DC. So I want to tell you all the good news, which is that we don’t always have to go to DC, we have all we need to organize here. We don’t have to go to every protest. I want to tell you, in the past two weeks I have seen an unprecedented convergence of mosques, churches, student groups, socialist parties, Palestinians and Arabs, and so, so much more, uniting and organizing around the full liberation of Palestine. And that’s important. It’s very important. Don’t underestimate your power because this march, like all the marches happening around the world, and especially the steadfastness and resilience of our people from [inaudible 00:36:19], for the West Bank, to 48, to the refugee camps, even here in exile in the West, is the sole reason. Don’t forget it is the sole reason why the Zionist entity cannot carry out their genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza and so on.

And so I stand here today as a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement to tell you that I will stay here as long as it takes to meet all of the student groups, mosques, churches, Black and Filipino liberation movements, socialist parties, you name it, to connect and build with you all, Palestinian Americans especially, to unite and form a community here.

I will be here as long as it takes to deliver that message, connect with you all and make sure you have the information for November 4th. And I tell you all that, because I tell you everybody, liberation is on the horizon. Our martyrs will pay the ultimate price, who have given the ultimate sacrifice, soon and now their sacrifice will not be in vain. Our prisoners who are locked up in Zionist prisons will soon be released! Our refugees who are waiting generation after generation to return to our homeland, will soon return. Our land will soon be liberated!

In the midst of all our people, after 200 years of imperialist and Zionist colonization, and 75 years of settler colonialism, of Nakba, of occupation, will finally and soon be free!

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Sami Huraini:

Free free Palestine!

Crowd:

Free free Palestine!

Sami Huraini:

Long live Palestine!

Crowd:

Long live Palestine!

Sami Huraini:

My name is Sami, I’m a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement, a transnational, independent, grassroots movement of Palestinian and Arab youth working towards the full liberation of our homeland and people.

Speaker 6:

Well, Sami, thank you so much for taking the time and chatting with us on the Real News Network. We are standing here in downtown Baltimore in front of City Hall. This is a Friday night, October 20th, and we just concluded a pretty sizable rally that y’all helped organize here. You were one of the final speakers there and folks seemed really fired up after marching through the streets. So I wanted to ask if you could just say a little bit about what we saw tonight and what it took to bring all of this together?

Sami Huraini:

Yeah, so in my speech tonight, I made two points about unity and organization. None of what you saw today, none of the protests around the world, none of even the brave acts of our Palestinian people in historic Palestine, none of this would’ve been possible without organization and unity.

Our people over the last 75 years and even before that, have been working together towards political struggle through political organization, through unions, through women’s groups, through student groups and so on. The same thing is true for this protest, being organized by groups like PSL, Black Alliance for Peace. It took decades… In many ways, centuries of organization, of martyrs, of lives lost, the people being jailed, the people taking risks, the people fighting for liberation of all peoples to get to this moment today.

Speaker 6:

And I want to ask a little bit about that in regards to the local scene here in Baltimore, and your involvement in it, right? Because as we’re trying to cover our best at the Real News, as every media channel around the world is trying to cover the genocide that is happening in occupied Palestine… The reaction to it, just last night, president Joe Biden called on Congress to support Israel and Ukraine by providing 100 billion dollars more in federal aid.

So this is the context in which we find ourselves, and for folks who like here at the Real News live in Baltimore, and who are watching this on TV and are finding out that there are organizations around the city, but maybe haven’t known about the Palestinian Youth Movement, can you tell them a little bit about PYM, and about the other orgs that we saw come out tonight?

Sami Huraini:

Yeah, so like I said, the Palestinian Youth Movement is a transnational, as it spans across borders because our people, since 1948 and beyond have been forced out of our homeland and scattered across borders. And so we as a transnational organization, organize and have chapters across different countries. We are an independent movement, we don’t answer to any party or any government. We speak for ourselves and ourselves alone. And we are a grassroots movement. We are not a nonprofit. We don’t take money from big donors. We fund our movements from our people. Our power comes from our people. And we are youth between 18 to 35, Palestinian Arab youth, because the Oslo Accords, which you may know about, severed our people in exile in the diaspora from our people in our homeland. And so what we do as an organization is try to reinvigorate, rebuild the role of youth in our liberation movement.

And so for the orgs here, which are also playing an important part, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, really help bottom line this, Black Alliance for Peace, Baltimore Block, and so on, they have really helped us carry, do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of logistical support. So that PYM, who are trying our best to make it out to all these events that people are doing, and this is unprecedented by the way, all of the protests and support popping up to help us so we can build with our community that is scattered even in the Baltimore area. Like I was in the crowd walking around speaking to every Palestinian and Arab I could find, to tell them about PYM so we can join and unite our community here. And of course to spread our message, yeah.

Speaker 6:

Well, can I ask just quickly what the response has been like, what you were hearing from folks coming up to you tonight, or folks reaching out to PYM over the past two weeks?

Sami Huraini:

Yeah, I mean, I think PYM, as a chapter here, our organization, which established a chapter here three years ago, people understand what PYM is now at this point. I think they understand it’s not just identity, it’s not just because we’re Palestinian. It’s our politics, it’s our ideologies that we hold, it’s the work that we do that we are truly a grassroots and revolutionary organization, really fighting for the liberation of our homeland and in joint struggle with our Black and Filipino and so many other liberation movements, our brothers and sisters in those movements for full liberation of all peoples, of our lands and our peoples.

Speaker 6:

Okay, final question because I know you’ve had a long day and I got to let you go.

Sami Huraini:

It’s no worries.

Speaker 6:

So could you just say a little bit to folks listening about what comes next? You mentioned the big march in early November, for folks in Baltimore and around the country listening right now, I guess what comes after tonight?

Sami Huraini:

Yeah, I want to say that there’s going to be plenty of things between that March and now, and that’s not just because things are organized this weekend, for example, the Peoples Power Assembly organized the march tomorrow at two. Speak Out Now organized the town hall at NoMüNoMü, around 7:00 PM. There’s going to be a vigil at Johns Hopkins University, and I imagine so much more, but we also need to be on alert because the Zionist entity Israel, they may be initiating a ground invasion. They’re going to keep bombing [inaudible 00:44:06], they’re going to keep bombing Gaza. And so we cannot stop. We cannot stop until the Zionist state is dismantled, full decolonization is achieved, and our people and our land are free from the river to the sea.

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Source: Therealnews.com