New York rally honors martyrs, calls for justice and liberation for Palestine

Photo: Shanaz Deen

Demonstrators marched through the streets of Brooklyn on Sunday, 29 January in a mass mobilization to salute the martyrs of Jenin and stand with the Palestinian people’s liberation struggle. Organized by Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine, the march drew crowds to the New York streets, with groups including Samidoun NY/NJ, Neturei Karta International, the Workers World Party and many Palestinian community organizations and left political parties joining in the rally.

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Beginning in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, home to a large Palestinian and Arab community, organizers of the demonstration rallied participants. Nerdeen Kiswani, chair of Within Our Lifetime, spoke about the 35 martyrs whose lives had been taken by the Zionist occupation within the first 29 days of 2023 and WOL’s ongoing campaign to honour the martyrs of Palestine.

Photo: Shanaz Deen

Speakers at the rally included Nida Abu Baker, the daughter of Shukri Abu Baker, one of the Holy Land 5 who continue to be imprisoned in U.S. jails as political prisoners for providing humanitarian aid to orphans and widows in Palestine, as well as Laila Boutros, coordinator of Samidoun NY/NJ and representatives of the Neturei Karta religious Jewish association.

As marchers wound through the streets of Brooklyn, they chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” and “Settlers, settlers go back home, Palestine is ours alone” among other chants for Palestinian liberation. Participants carried photos and posters of the Palestinian martyrs whose lives had been taken as well as Palestinian flags, banners and posting calling for freedom for Palestinian prisoners and the liberation of Palestine.

Photo: Shanaz Deen

Outside of the office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Nerdeen Kiswani emphasized that her support for Zionism and Israeli apartheid and colonialism does not represent her or the people of the area, denouncing Malliotakis’ and her fellow members of Congress’ ongoing complicity in the war crimes and crimes against humanity targeting the Palestinian people.

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The march concluded with dedication to continued organizing and activism for the liberation of Palestine.

Below is the text of Laila Boutros’ (Samidoun NY/NJ) speech at the demonstration:

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On this past Wednesday, Israel murdered 10 Palestinians when they illegally raided the Jenin refugee camp. Jenin has been a point of great struggle recently, including being the place where the IDF brutally murdered journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in cold blood.

Though the first month of the year has yet to end, the IOF has already murdered at least 30 Palestinians, including five children. At this rate, nearly 400 Palestinians will be murdered in their homeland this year, a number that more than doubles the 170 Palestinians killed by the IOF in 2022.

While Jenin has been the site of brutal and endless violence, it has also been the site of unrelenting and steadfast resistance from the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance organizations. The Palestinian people and their resistance have made clear that they will not be silent, sitting back and waiting for slaughter, they will resist and uphold the legacy of the martyrs, and they will not stop fighting until they have secured a liberated Palestine, from the river to the sea, for all Palestinians for generations to come.

I will now read part of a speech from comrade George Habash, also known as Al Hakim’s, that he delivered at the Jordan International Hotel in Amman in 1970 to hostages following a resistance operation in the face of US-backed Jordanian regime attacks against the Palestinian revolution.

Al Hakim says – “After 22 years of injustice, inhumanity, living in camps with nobody caring for us, we feel that we have the very full right to protect our revolution. We have all the right to protect our revolution. Our code of morals is our revolution. What saves our revolution, what helps our revolution, what protects our revolution is right, is very right and very honorable and very noble and very beautiful, because our revolution means justice, means having back our homes, having back our country, which is a very just and noble aim.”

Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance organizations understand this very well – they understand that when it comes to winning back their homeland, there is no sacrifice too great, and they understand that any resistance against this brutal regime, in the name of the Palestinian people, is a beautiful, and honorable thing.

We are here to honor the martyrs of Jenin refugee camp and all the martyrs of Palestine, we salute the brave Palestinian people and their resistance organizations in their steadfast and valiant fight to avenge all Palestinian martyrs and reclaim Palestine, from the river to the sea! Glory to the martyrs of Jenin and the martyrs of Palestine, Glory to the brave Palestinian resistance, FREE, FREE PALESTINE!