Minneapolis, MN – On May 11, around 1000 people turned out to protest at U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office in Minneapolis in response to Israeli attacks on Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem and air raids on Gaza. The protest was organized as an emergency response action by the Minnesota chapter of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP-MN).
Recent weeks saw the Israeli regime move forward with attempts to evict and ethnically cleanse more than 70 Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, giving the homes to illegal Israeli settlers. With daily Palestinian protests growing in size, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) also attacked worshipers at Al-Aqsa, one of Islam’s holiest sites, with rubber-coated bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, during Ramadan festivities. Resistance across occupied Palestine grew even more pronounced on May 10 after IOF airstrikes killed dozens of Palestinian civilians in besieged Gaza, including at least ten children.
The crowd in Minneapolis was overwhelmingly young and Muslim, wearing keffiyehs and waving Palestinian flags. Mariam El-Khatib, an organizer with AMP-MN, opened the rally, saying, “The Palestinian people have shown us incredible dignity, bravery and steadfastness in the face of one of the most repressive and terrorizing apartheid systems in the world. The least we can do is stand in solidarity with them, to tell them: from Minnesota to Palestine, our hearts are with you! We support you and we support your right to live. And we support your right to reparations and your right to be on your land, where you’re free, where you’re safe, where your children are not getting bombed, and you don’t have to go through a checkpoint to get to your job.”
Protesters held signs and joined in chants declaring solidarity with those resisting the ethnic cleansing in the streets of Jerusalem and demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel. The crowd marched down Washington Avenue towards downtown. When protesters circled back towards the senator’s office, they took over the Washington Avenue bridge over Interstate 35W.
After the march, Meredith Aby-Keirstead, an organizer with the Anti-War Committee, spoke to the crowd. “We had about 1000 people turn out today! A thousand people sent a message to Amy Klobuchar that she should stop being silent about Palestine. She has said nothing this week about what’s happening in Jerusalem! Shame on her!”
Aby-Keirstead added, “You know who has also been silent this week? President Biden. The media is talking about how he feels uncomfortable this week with ‘the situation.’ Uncomfortable does not match the pain of a mother who has to bury her child.”
Protesters were encouraged to come to the next protest on Saturday, May 15 at 2 p.m. on the anniversary of Al-Nakba to protest the Israeli occupation and the current increase in attacks on Palestinians. The event will begin at the intersection of Central Avenue and 43rd Street in Columbia Heights, just north of Minneapolis.
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