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Red Line Protest For Gaza At White House, More Support For Palestine

Washington DC—Thousands surrounded the White House Saturday with a ‘people’s red line’ message to the Biden administration to stop funding and supporting Israel’s war on Gaza. At midday, hundreds unfurled and circled the White House with a 2 mile long red banner with names of thousands of Palestinians slain by Israeli military bombing in Gaza. Over 200 groups joined in demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, withdrawal of military forces, and a pathway towards Palestinian Statehood.

The Israeli military is now in its 9th month of a sustained military assault and occupation of Gaza which began on October 7, 2023 and has leveled over 80% of its structures, killed nearly 40,000 women and children, and rendered Gaza virtually unlivable. Nearly 2 million have been displaced with signs that famine has taken hold in parts of Gaza according to a Famine Early Warning Network Analysis published last month.

According to an Al Jezeera report, a full-blown famine was occurring but it was difficult to assess how extreme it was because of the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

A famine is determined to be occurring when certain conditions are met, according to a UN technical definition. These conditions include:

  • At least 20 per cent of the population in that particular area are facing extreme levels of hunger;
  • 30 per cent of the children in the same place are wasted, or too thin for their height; and
  • The death – or mortality – rate has doubled, from the average, surpassing two deaths per 10,000 daily for adults and four deaths per 10,000 daily for children.

Saturday’s giant action was supported by over 200 groups as of Friday, the day before the action was to start with more groups joining the ongoing organizing. An action in support of Gaza and Palestinians with this level of interest would have been inconceivable as recently as last year. This is because there was limited interest in the Palestinian cause for freedom and State autonomy, at least in the U.S.. But general support among Americans has grown this Spring with a wave of university protests in sympathy with Palestinian rights and news coverage of student activism and has spread awareness of the Gaza conflict to the mainstream. With today’s action it is apparent more voices are joining a growing chorus for an end to hostilities and the establishing an autonomous State in Gaza.

Tens of Thousands Circled White House

Buses came from States across the nation bringing 1000’s in a clear sign that political pressure is increasing against the Biden administration. While thousands circled the White House with a symbolic red line banner, others held a mock trial on the White House Ellipse of the key players responsible in the loss of life and destruction in Gaza infrastructure.

Later a group of students set up a camp on the Ellipse after the permit to protest had expired, in furtherance of the action, and as an autonomous event, to which Secret Service responded by circling the encampment and requesting that the students to take their tents down and not camp overnight.

President Biden has publicly warned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at various stages of his military campaign not to cross certain “red lines” with respect to Israeli military actions in Gaza, but PM Netanyahu has ignored every red line warning President Biden has issued.

Lopsided Attack On Gaza Unparalleled

A published report in Al Jezeera revealed the amount of munitions dropped on Gaza was equivalent to two nuclear bombs as of November 2023 with half of those bombs consisting of ‘dumb’ explosive munitions. The destruction of the Gaza territory is nearing a totality as over 1.5 million, more than 80% of Gazans have been forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in tent camps. Conditions are deteriorating much more quickly than previously reported as the most recent incursion by Israeli Military ground forces has limited aid to the beleaguered territory.

Speakers Told Of Human Carnage in Gaza

Mohammed (last name not given), a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement, told of his relatives in several cities in Gaza. “Each household is forced to choose between family members to save and those to leave behind. My family which resided in Has-te-Zahoon and in Red-de-Remon are reduced to mere numbers and displaced across Rafah. My homeland is soaked in the blood of our martyrs everyday and everyday it becomes increasingly difficult to move forward. We are exhausted. We are tired of this genocide on our people.”

Lanna (last name not given), a Student Representative of the District, Maryland and Virginia chapter of the Coalition of Students for Justice in Palestine said that local universities were providing funding to Israel. “These bombs and weapons that are used to destroy our land and our people are supplied by the U.S. and paid for by our universities. Campuses have become cesspools of complicity in the perpetuation of violence and genocide of the Palestinian people.”

Lubna (last name not given), a member of the Palestinian Feminist Collective, said of supporters of Gaza. “To our co-strugglers who continue to stand with us and our people in their darkest days—Palestine is neither an exception nor a litmus test. Palestine is a compass for revolutionary struggle worldwide.”

Brian Becker, National Coordinator of Answer Coalition said, “Only the people can be the red line, not the Democrats, not the Republicans, not Wall Street, and not the White House…only we the people.” The red line reference was taken from President Biden’s warning to PM Netanyahu that a ground attack on Rafah would trigger U.S. abatement of its military support for Israel. The U.S. continues to support Israel.

We will update the actions taken by students at the Ellipse as reporting becomes available. Update pertaining to the student encampment on the Ellipse: late Saturday night police swept through the encampment and removed all the tents after students left the tents behind. There were no arrests reported.

For a photo slideshow of the people’s red line action please visit DCMediaGroup Photographer Ted Majdosz portfolio here.

Video of actions is below.

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