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Five thousand march for Palestine in Chicago on Saturday

An estimated 5,000 protesters marched on Chicago's Israeli consulate Saturday afternoon to protest the Israeli occupation and Sharon's latest war on the Palestinian people. The march drew huge numbers from local Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities, and included members of local social justice and peace groups. Photos by Chris Geovanis. (article 2)
An estimated 5,000 protesters marched on the Israeli consulate in Chicago Saturday afternoon to oppose the occupation, Israeli military and settler violence, and U.S. government support for Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinian people. Chicago police estimated the march at 5,000 or more, while some on the ground thought the turnout was even larger.

The march drew huge numbers from local Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities, and also included participants from a wide variety of social justice and peace groups in the Chicago area.

The demonstration was one of the largest in the city in recent memory.

Protesters called for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Israeli military and settler violence against Palestinians. They also vowed that Palestinians would never surrender the right of return for Palestinian refugees in exile around the world. They demanded that the United States immediately end all military and economic aid to Israel, and called for the immediate establishment of a viable and truly independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Another mass demonstration is being planned for April 12. Participants and organizers have also begun to build locally for protests against a planned visit by former Israeli defense minister Ephriam Sneh on April 10.

And local organizers are working hard to put hundreds of Chicagoans on the streets in Washington DC on April 22 to protest at the annual conference of AIPAC -- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, widely regarded the most powerful pro-Israeli lobbying group in the United States. Israeli prime minister and war criminal Ariel Sharon is scheduled to address the AIPAC conference on April 22. U.S. president George Bush has also agreed to address the conference.

The Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism is organizing buses to Washington for a weekend of protests in Washington DC beginning on April 20 and culminating in the action against Sharon on April 22. Chicagoans interested in traveling to Washington for the full weekend of actions encouraged to contact the 8th Day Center for Justice at 312-641-5151 for information about bus tickets. Many local Arab and Muslim community groups are also organizing buses to Washington for the Sharon protest.



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