Tens of thousands took to the streets in Washington, DC, despite cold and rainy weather on Saturday, 29 May 2021, at the National March for Palestine organized by American Muslims for Palestine, the US Council of Muslim Organizations and their partner groups. They organized buses from up and down the East Coast, while Palestinians and supporters of Palestine flew in across the country to take a stand and demand the United States sanction Israel.
Speakers from partner organizations and endorsing groups demanded an end to the over $3.8 billion in aid given to the Israeli occupation regime every year, which is funneled directly into military support for the ongoing colonization, occupation and oppression of Palestine and the Palestinian people. The march launched AMP’s Sanction Israel campaign, which demands an arms embargo on the apartheid regime, an end to the U.S.-Israel free trade agreement, a ban on settlement products and an end to the “charitable” organizations fundraising millions of tax-exempt dollars to fund war crimes and illegal settlements in Palestine.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network was among 100+ organizations to endorse the march and rally. Joe Catron, U.S. coordinator of Samidoun, noted: “This broad outpouring, on such short notice, shows the tremendous political gains the Palestinian national movement has made in recent weeks.” Hundreds of thousands of people across the United States have taken to the streets during the previous several weeks, joining millions around the world marching for the liberation of Palestine.
While the U.S. has continued its funding and arming of Israeli war crimes without hesitation, a growing number of politicians in the Democratic Party – perhaps due to the overwhelming and visible positions of their voter base in support of Palestinian rights – have expressed hesitation over the role of the U.S. empire in the subjugation of Palestinians, including introducing legislation to condition U.S. aid to Israel or freeze certain weapons shipments.
The success of the demonstration, organized approximately one week in advance, points to the importance of ongoing popular mobilization for Palestine to escalate the pressure to cut off the U.S. relationship with the Israeli settler colonial regime.