Protest asks federal delegation to call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza
"We know that Jewish safety and Palestinian liberation are inextricably bound up together, and we will continue to fight until there is a lasting ceasefire and Palestine is free.”
Rhode Islanders gathered on the south lawn of the Rhode Island State House on Friday to condemn the continuation of Israel’s bombing, siege, and occupation of Gaza and demand a permanent ceasefire. Organizers noted that despite 80% of Democratic voters across the country supporting the worldwide call for a full and lasting ceasefire, no member of Rhode Island’s federal delegation, Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Representatives Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo - all Democrats - has yet voiced support.
“Millions of Palestinians are suffering needlessly due to Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza, and yet our government and institutions are failing. Our ‘leaders’ are ignoring the calls from millions of people across the country and across the world as we demand an end to this current genocidal campaign. We must use every lever of power possible to end the violence and we will not stop until there is a permanent ceasefire, divestment from the international war machine, and a free Palestine.”
– Brown Alumni for Palestine
The demonstration included representation from 14 organizations across Providence’s growing Palestine solidarity movement, including AMOR (Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance), ARISE (Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education), Brown University Alumni for Palestine, Brown University Jews for Ceasefire Now, Brown University Students for Justice in Palestine, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), Jewish Voice for Peace - Rhode Island, MGF: Movement Ground Farm, Party for Socialism and Liberation - Rhode Island, Palestine Solidarity Caucus of the Graduate Labor Organization, PrYSM: Providence Youth Student Movement, Reclaim RI, RISD Students for Justice in Palestine, and SURJ Providence.
“We are heartbroken by the ongoing genocide in Palestine, the unnecessary and devastating loss of life and ethnic cleansing being waged by the Israeli state that has once again been renewed with full force. The calls of millions of people around the country, many of them proudly Jewish - including our calls to our own university - for a permanent end to the violence and genocide in Gaza have been ignored. Our Jewish values and our shared histories of state-sanctioned violence compel us to stand unequivocally against the genocide in Gaza being carried out in our name. We know that Jewish safety and Palestinian liberation are inextricably bound up together, and we will continue to fight until there is a lasting ceasefire and Palestine is free.” – Brown University Jews for Ceasefire Now
The emergency demonstration was called to protest Israel’s resumed bombardment of Gaza, marking the 56th day of this latest deadly assault on the Palestinian people that continues 75 years of Israeli occupation and apartheid since the 1948 Nakba.
“As a working-class, BIPOC community resisting the racist displacement and incarceration of our people, we will forever be in solidarity with Palestine. Ceasefire now! End the occupation!”
– DARE: Direct Action For Rights and Equality
Demonstrators held a noise rally they called “Get Loud for Gaza,” with songs, pots and pans, instruments, and homemade noise makers to demonstrate their solidarity with people in Gaza and across Palestine.
“In response to the call from Palestinian civil society, historic numbers of people across the U.S. and around the world–including thousands of Rhode Islanders, among them hundreds of Jews–have risen up to demand a full and lasting ceasefire. We are devastated and furious. Only a permanent ceasefire will stop the genocide of Palestinians. In the face of so much bloodshed and horror, it’s never been clearer that there is no military solution to oppression. We cannot bomb our way to peace — safety is found only in our collective liberation. We’re in this for the long haul, until the end of U.S. support for Israeli apartheid once and for all.”
– Jewish Voice for Peace - Rhode Island
Participating groups demanded that Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo immediately voice their support for a full and lasting ceasefire. Further, with a Senate vote on President Biden’s sweeping military bill expected as soon as next week, residents demanded that the Rhode Island delegation oppose the provision of $14 billion in military aid to Israel – and the billions more included for border militarization in the United States.
"Millions have spoken out for weeks, including thousands here in Rhode Island to demand a permanent ceasefire. Now, with the full support of the United States, Israel has resumed its genocidal assault on the Palestinian people. The people of the world will not stop fighting until Israel's aggression is stopped and Palestine is free!"
– Party for Socialism and Liberation - Rhode Island
According to organizers, as of November 30, Israel had killed more than 15,242 Palestinians, including over 6,150 children, in besieged Gaza, according to conservative estimates. Palestinian health officials warn that the destruction of Gazan hospitals has made it impossible to keep an accurate count and that the real number of people killed is much higher. Thousands more Palestinians are expected to die from starvation, disease, and dehydration. More than 6,800 people are missing, either trapped under rubble or dead and not yet identified. In the occupied West Bank, 240 people have been killed by armed settlers and Israeli occupation forces, and 3,400 people have been detained without trial. As of the beginning of the protest on Saturday, 109 Palestinians have been killed in the first 12 hours since bombing resumed in Gaza.
“We at Reclaim RI forcefully condemn the genocide of Palestinians and call for a permanent ceasefire. In doing so, we stand in solidarity with people across the world, including our friends at the Rhode Island chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. These local Jewish leaders know well the devastating toll of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and are bravely speaking out to say “Never again – for anyone.” Together, our organizations demand that our congressional delegation join the bloc of congresspeople fighting to end these atrocities. Otherwise – we'll campaign against them, and vote them out.”
– Reclaim RI
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