Minneapolis, MN – On November 4, while hundreds of thousands marched in Washington DC for the largest Palestine solidarity march in U.S. history, over 4000 marched in the streets of Minneapolis in support. They were greeted by honks of support, victory signs and Palestine flags waved from the balconies of public housing high-rises in the diverse Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The marchers demanded an immediate end to Israel’s brutal siege and bombing campaign of Gaza, and an end to U.S. aid to Israel.
The Minneapolis action featured a remarkable display of multinational, multiracial solidarity against the occupation of Palestine. Indigenous dancers with Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli spearheaded the procession, while local Palestinians led chants on megaphones and hundreds from the neighborhood’s heavily East African community lined the streets in support. The event was organized jointly by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center, and Black Lives Matter Minnesota.
“Our colonizers share the same playbook. Our colonizers share the same tactics. And likewise, the people that are being colonized will stand together, walking together, hand in hand for liberation,” Sana Wazwaz of American Muslims for Palestine – Minnesota said to the crowd. “As early as 1923, Zionist founding fathers openly compared the Palestinians to the indigenous Americans and compared the Zionists to the white colonizers!”
The event came as Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza reached its 28th day, with over 9500 Palestinians reported killed. Growing calls for an immediate cessation of the airstrikes and siege culminated in a march of over 300,000 in Washington DC. President Joe Biden, however, continued to call for an emergency $106 billion, including $14 billion in aid to Israel, to be spent on U.S. wars and proxy conflicts around the world.
“We demand that the $106 billion that Joe Biden wants to spend in Ukraine and in Israel, to be spent on the East Side of Saint Paul and in North Minneapolis. America has a severe racial wealth gap because of its foreign policies, and its domestic policies are racist,” said Trahern Crews of Black Lives Matter Minnesota.
Max Vast is the president of AFSCME Local 3800, which represents University of Minnesota clerical workers. “AFSCME 3800 proudly stands with Palestinians who are calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions. We won’t cross any picket line, but we certainly will not cross that picket line,” they said. “We’re proud to have committed with the Minnesota Anti-War Committee to pushing the Minnesota State Board of Investments to divest our pensions. We will not allow our money to go to Israeli weapons companies.”
Vast continued, “Palestinian resistance is justified. It’s protected under international law, and we’re allowed to support it. We have a duty to support it. The labor movement must stand with workers anywhere as they are fighting against colonization and oppression, but especially in Palestine, and with our indigenous communities.”
The march concluded with a ceremony by the indigenous dancers, and a pledge from organizers to continue the fight.
“We can’t accept a return to the status quo,” said Wyatt Miller, one of the march’s emcees and a member of the Minnesota Anti-War Committee. “We need to fight for an end to U.S. aid to Israel in order to end the occupation of Palestine once and for all.”