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Coalition Meets To Ready Massive March On The DNC

Above hoto: Hatem Abudayyeh announcing plans to march for Palestine at the Democratic National Convention. Fight Back! News/Alec Ozawa.

Chicago, IL – The Coalition to March on the Democratic National Convention (DNC) met in Chicago the weekend of April 13. Speaker after speaker testified with fire in their eyes about the need to march against the genocide in Gaza. Along with the speeches, people got down to the tasks needed to bring tens of thousands to Chicago in August to protest the DNC.

The 450 in attendance were overwhelmingly youth. Many are brand new to protest movements, having been thrown into motion by the anti-war and Palestine solidarity movement.

There is growing controversy about the protests planned for the DNC, as voices from the mainstream and right-wing media, as well as from the loyal opposition to the Democratic Party, scold the Palestinians and their supporters for marching against Israel and Genocide Joe Biden.

Those in the packed hall see that a battle line has been drawn. On the one side, the Palestinian people in their resistance, and the majority of humanity standing with them; on the other, the apartheid state of Israel; its imperialist bosses in Washington; and the existing social order they represent.

Hatem Abudayyeh speaks out

Hatem Abudayyeh, national chair of the United States Palestinian Community Network, and a lead organizer in the DNC march coalition, opened the press conference at the start of the day. His powerful remarks received waves of applause as he spoke for the movements, stating, “The Coalition to March on the DNC was established last summer when we began our organizing in preparation to lead the protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago this August. But everything changed in October of last year, and now the march on the DNC will be the largest mobilization for Palestine in the history of this city.

“You’ll hear more later about the rejection of our march permits, the violation of our constitutional rights, and our federal lawsuit in response, but we’ll be marching with or without permits, because this DNC is the most important one since 1968, also in Chicago, when Vietnam War protesters and the Black liberation movement organized mass demonstrations that were violently repressed by Mayor Daley the elder and his goon squad of Chicago cops and feds.

“In August, we expect tens of thousands of Palestinian, Arab, Black, Latinx, Asian and other protesters from all across the U.S., to say loud and clear to Genocide Joe, Killer Kamala, and their cabal – ‘Stop U.S. aid to Israel, stop arming Israel; we stand with Palestine, and we support victory and liberation for the Palestinian people. This issue is central to our targeting of the DNC because the Israeli-perpetrated genocide that has already killed almost 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza has been brought to us and paid for by the U.S. government, specifically by Biden and the Democratic Party.

“We all know that Israel’s war crimes are not possible without U.S. weapons, money, and political and diplomatic support, and even though the majority of people in the U.S. want Israel to stop the killing, Biden continues to allow it unabated. That’s why the Palestine support movement in this country is mobilizing like never before, shutting down streets and highways and airports and legislators’ offices, and why Biden is in big trouble this November.

“He could have stopped this genocide back in October, could stop it now, but he won’t, because that’s what empire does – destroys, kills, steals and devastates developing nations across the world for its own economic interests. Israel kills with impunity because Biden and the Democrats allow it to.

“The focus of our coalition and the protests in August is Palestine, yes, but this conference has folks here from all across the U.S., representing all the social sectors and movements who want the Democrats to be accountable to the communities that have always gotten them elected, especially immigrant rights, Black liberation, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights and students. They will address their issues, pledge their support to Palestine liberation, and make concrete plans for the historic march on the DNC.”

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