Civil Rights

Rhode Island for Palestine coalition rallies to “end US funding to Israeli Apartheid”

“At least 200 people in Gaza, including 60+ children, have been killed by Israeli air strikes, funded by $3.8 billion in annual United States aid. The assault will continue, now and into the future, until United States aid ends. It is time to end our country’s role in Israeli apartheid and demand equality and the right of return for the Palestinian people,” said the coalition in a statement.
Photo for Rhode Island for Palestine coalition rallies to “end US funding to Israeli Apartheid”

Published on May 22, 2021
By Will James and Steve Ahlquist

Well over 300 people marched through downtown Providence on Friday evening to demand that “the United States end military aid to Israeli apartheid.” The demonstration follows a week of protests across the country, as well as a protest in Rhode Island that drew nearly 1000 participants and with more than 300,000 marching all over the the country. The rally was organized by Rhode Island for Palestine, a coalition of Rhode Islanders supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

See also: Selene Means: Photos from the Free Palestine rally in Providence

“At least 200 people in Gaza, including 60+ children, have been killed by Israeli air strikes, funded by $3.8 billion in annual United States aid. The assault will continue, now and into the future, until United States aid ends. It is time to end our country’s role in Israeli apartheid and demand equality and the right of return for the Palestinian people,” said the coalition in a statement.

The rally began at Burnside Park before marching to the headquarters of Textron, which manufactures and profits from weapons sold to Israel. From Textron the protest moved towards the offices of Senator Jack Reed (Democrat, Rhode Island) where a 200+ person “die-in” was staged. (200, sadly, being the approximate number of Palestinians killed during the recent violence.)

Despite the recent ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, the underlying issues that have sparked the recent violence remain unresolved. Rhode Island for Palestine is calling on Rhode Island’s congressional delegation to take action to end military aid and arms sales to Israeli. As coalition member BLM RI PAC said in a statement, “Senator Jack Reed is on the Senate Armed Services committee, and has an outsize influence on the National Defense Authorization Act. Representative David Cicilline is on House Foreign Affairs, which has the power to block arms sales to Israel—in fact, there is currently a resolution to block one such sale of $735 million in bombs to Israel. We urge our representatives to hear the voices of Palestinian Rhode Islanders, and all Rhode Islanders who support justice in Rhode Island and across the world.”

Members organizations in the Rhode Island for Palestine coalition include: RISD Students for Justice In Palestine (SJP), BLM RI PAC, Brown SJP, Reclaim Rhode Island, Providence Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) RI, Providence Sunrise Movement, RI Jewish Voices for Peace, Brown War Watch, ANSWER Coalition, Showing Up for Racial Justice RI (SURJ), RI Council for Muslim Advancement, RI Working Families Party and RI Anti-War Committee.

UpriseRI reporter Will James had the livestream:

The rally started with a chant from Max, an organizer with PSL RI. Rasha Abousalem served as the emcee.

Sterk Zaza, activist and founder of AHOPE (Americans Helping Others Prosper):

Satya Moha Patra with the ANSWER Coalition:

Abdul-Latif Sackor, Imam of the Islamic Center of Rhode Island:

Enrique Sanchez and Harrison Tuttle from the BLM RI PAC:

Miriam, three-years-old:

Farah Awad, a student at North Providence High School:

Jackie Goldman from the Providence DSA:

Farah Awad and Rasha Abousalem read the names of the Palestinian children killed, followed by a moment of silence:

Max from PSL RI:

The march from Burnside Park to Textron:

Max from PSL RI at Textron, which supplies weapons to Israel and profits from the violence there:

The march from Textron to the Providence offices of Senator Jack Reed:

Rally participants organize a die-in, lying in the road by Kennedy Plaza for over four minutes:

Rhode Island State Representative David Morales (Democrat, District 7, Providence):

Rasha Abousalem and Sterk Zaza:

Max:

See also:

Will James

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