Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

Local Palestinians protest Israeli attacks on eve of Right of Return march

Palestinian protesters and their supporters marched to the Israeli consulate on April 4 to protest escalating Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The action was staged on the eve of the mobilization for this weekend's upcoming "Right of Return" march at the United Nations in New York City.
Chicago: About 50 Palestinian protesters and their supporters gathered at Tribune Plaza on April 4 and marched from there to the Israeli consulate to protest escalating Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The action was staged on the anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King to protest a wave of Israeli political assassinations and military attacks against Palestinians, and to mobilize support for this weekend's upcoming "Right of Return" march at the United Nations in New York City. This Saturday's U.N. march, which is being organized nationally by Al Awda, will press for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to thousands of acres of land and homes that have been seized by Israel in the state was created in 1948.

More than 400 Palestinian men, women and children have been killed by the Israeli military and extremist settlers since current Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon first provoked the grass-roots Palestinian uprising in the region last September. The dead and injured - who number over 12,000 - include relatives of Palestinians living in the metropolitan Chicago area. Israel recently vowed to step up its level of military aggression in the region, and the Israeli government has called its recent bombing raids 'merely an appetizer.' The pace of both killings and injuries of Palestinians has shot up in recent days in the wake of Israel's stepped-up military campaign.

"It's obvious that Ariel Sharon is not a man of peace," said Hatem Abudayyeh, one of the organizers of Wednesday's action. "His record includes the bloody massacres of Qibya, Sabra and Shatilla - and he is now laying siege upon the Palestinian people again. His government's brutality will only engender greater resistance to Israel's oppressive occupation, and forestall a lasting peace with justice for the Palestinian people."

Community leaders charge that the Israeli government has forced Palestinians to live under apartheid conditions marked by extreme economic hardship and political repression, a situation exacerbated by continuing U.S. aid to Israel. They argue that when Sharon and 1,000 heavily armed troops forced their way into the Haram Al-Sharif, Islam's holiest site in Jerusalem, last September, years of pent-up frustration surfaced in Palestinian communities - and that Israeli troops and settlers have used increasingly lethal force to suppress protests.

Protesters are demanding an end to U.S. government support for continued Israeli terrorist acts, an immediate end to the Israeli military siege of Palestinians, an immediate Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian territories, and an end to Israeli political and economic oppression in the region.

Wednesday's action was organized by the Committee For a Democratic Palestine, the Arab American Action Network, Al-Awda Chicago, the Palestine Aid Society, the Palestine Cultural Center, and the Arab American Media Guild. Groups that include the Jewish human rights group Not In My Name, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, the International Socialist Organization, the Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies in the United States of America, and the Arab Commission for Human Rights endorsed the protest.

The Committee for a Democratic Palestine, which convened Wednesday's protest, has worked aggressively with the Chicago chapter of Al Awda to organize local support for the U.N. Right of Return March. The CDP was established in North America in the mid-1970s as a grassroots, community-based Palestinian American organization which aims to organize support for Palestinians in the struggle for their national rights, including self-determination and the Right of Return for refugees.

The CDP works to educate and raise consciousness among North Americans about the plight of Palestinians living under occupation and in exile; to combat Zionist propaganda that distorts the goals of the Palestinian people; and to challenge the racial, ethnic, and class discrimination faced by Palestinians living in North America. The group seeks to safeguard the political, civil, and human rights of North America's Palestinian community; organize and empower the most disenfranchised segments of Palestinian society -- including women, youth, students, and workers; and fulfill the community's needs for cultural, educational, and social programs.

The CDP is committed to offering progressive, democratic solutions to the problems Palestinians confront. That effort includes establishing alliances with other communities of color, oppressed nationalities, and Arab institutions in North America; and promoting solidarity between North American progressives and the Palestinian people.

Approximately 150,000 Arabs live in the Chicago area, 80,000 of whom are Palestinian.

For more information about the Committee for a Democratic Palestine and the Right of Return Campaign, call the Chicago regional office of the CDP at (773) 434-7575 or email demopalestine (at)



Account Login

Media Centers


This site made manifest by dadaIMC software