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Solidarity rally in Madison, WI: ‘Palestinians can’t breathe’

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Madison, WI – 200 people came out in Madison in the late morning of May 15, the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, to stand with Palestinian people resisting genocide at the hands of the racist Israeli government. The demonstration took place on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Over 130 people have been killed, nearly 1000 wounded, and many more thousands have been displaced from their homes in Israel’s most recent string of attacks that began on May 10.

The event consisted first of a rally where a handful of speakers from the different cosponsoring organizations took to the microphone to share their experiences, messages of solidarity, and recommendations for how to help from here in the U.S. Many speakers spoke about the need to amplify the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement, pointing to the success of that tactic in breaking apartheid in South Africa. Others connected the Palestinian struggle against Israeli violence to the struggle of oppressed peoples in the United States against police crimes.

“The government funding the genocide of the people of Palestine – funding the tanks and the bullets – is the same government funding the bullets that murdered Ma’Khia Bryant, that murdered Tony Robinson,” said the speaker from Black Umbrella Global, a Black liberation organization based in Madison. “Last summer, Palestinians stood in solidarity and said George Floyd’s name with us in the street, calling for liberation.”

After the rally, the event took to the streets behind large banners reading “Save Sheikh Jarrah” and “Free Gaza.” The crowd marched around the State Capitol building several times, chanting “Free, free Palestine – long live Palestine” and “Intifada, intifada, long live the intifada.” A coward in a car flying an Israeli flag tried to interrupt the march, but supporters on bikes were quick to cut them off. Marchers rained down boos on the driver as the car passed.


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