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Over 250 gather at Israeli consulate to protest Israeli violence in Palestine

More than 250 protesters marched this evening to the Israeli Consulate to protest the latest round of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. Chicago’s Palestinian and Pakistani communities turned out in large numbers for the action, which was endorsed by more than a dozen local anti-war and social justice groups. (article 3)
More than two hundred fifty protesters marched this evening from the Tribune Plaza to the Israeli Consulate on East Wacker Drive to oppose the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the latest round of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. Chicago’s Palestinian and Pakistani communities turned out in large numbers for the action, which was endorsed by more than a dozen local anti-war and social justice groups. Core demands included an immediate end to the Israeli occupation, a halt to U.S. military and economic assistance to the Sharon government, and support for justice and independence for the Palestinian people.

Over 100 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more wounded in the last week, apparently in an effort to fulfill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's threat to 'beat' the Palestinians into submission. Casualties continued to rise over the weekend. The International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Society have also decried the Israeli military's recent targeting of Palestinian ambulances and health care workers, three of whom have been killed in the most recent wave of violence. Today, Israeli forces pushed into Jabalya refuge camp with more than 30 tanks and arrested hundreds of Palestinians; total Israeli arrests in occupied Palestine in the last day numbered more than a thousand, in mass round-ups witnesses have described as ‘Nazi-like’.

Some community leaders have been reluctant to stage protests at the Israeli Consulate in the wake of September 11, but Monday’s marchers – particularly Palestinians and Muslims – said the community could no longer be silent about the brutality of the occupation. “We cannot be quiet any longer in the face of daily Israeli atrocities against our people,” said one woman, who came with her grown daughter to the march. “I am a refuge myself,” said another man, “and I am here to support my fellow refugees and fellow Palestinians. It is only by speaking out against the injustice of the occupation that we will win freedom and dignity for Palestinians – or for any oppressed people.”

Organizers of Monday’s action also urged marchers to support a national call to protest Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s planned visit to Washington, D.C. on April 22. Many in Monday’s action have committed to traveling to Washington for the protest.

Endorsers of Monday's protest included the Arab American Media Guild; the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network; the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism Emergency Response Committee; the Chicago Islamic Center; the Committee for a Democratic Palestine; Granada Muslims and Jews for Human Rights; International Action Center; International ANSWER Coalition; International Socialist Organization; Islamic Association for Palestine; National Lawyers Guild - Chicago; the Palestine Aid Society; Palestinian-American Council; Prairie Fire Organzing Committee; Worker's World Party - Chicago; and the 8th Day Center for Justice.
 
 

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