Protest Criticizes U.S. Role in Israeli Invasion and Blockade of the Gaza Strip
BOSTON/Government Center - Over 50 people held a late afternoon picket in front of the Federal Building on Wednesday to protest the U.S. role in continuing to fund and supply the Israeli military after its recent invasion of the Gaza Strip. The event was organized by the Emergency Gaza Coalition.
Israel continues to maintain that its actions were warranted in response to rocket attacks by Gaza's Hamas-led government. Protests against Israel's actions and ongoing military blockade of Gaza have continued worldwide, and there are now escalating calls for a global boycott of Israeli products from non-governmental organizations, unions, political parties and religious groups in dozens of countries.
The protestors stated that the U.S. is must stop its financial and military support for Israel. Coalition member Khury Petersen-Smith was the first of several speakers addressing that point at a short rally following the conclusion of the picket.
"We are here because, of course, Israel recently led a savage attack on the people of Gaza - killing well over 1300 Palestinians in Gaza - and currently maintains a blockade by which they're starving the people of Gaza," said Petersen-Smith. "Not letting in food or medicine or supplies. And preparing to attack again. They haven't put the guns away. And that's absolutely criminal to have starved a people for 2 1/2 years and then attack them - with the 4th largest military in the world. But the reason we're here at Government Center at the John F. Kennedy Building is because this isn't just about Israeli crimes, this is about American support for Israeli crimes."
Petersen-Smith continued, "This is about the fact that all of the bombing took place with American-made F-16s and American-made Apache helicopters, and that when Israel bulldozes Palestinian houses they bulldoze them with American-made Caterpillar bulldozers. And so we're here today to demand that Israel stop its criminal genocide against the Palestinian people, but that our government - that claims to represent us - stop funding that genocide."
The rally ended without incident. There were no counter-demonstrators, but a fairly significant police presence including at least 6 uniformed Boston officers and 1 plain clothes officer - in addition to federal security officers looking on from inside the Federal Building.