Protest draws thousands: Bostonians took to the streets stand in solidarity with the people of Palestinian on Monday August 11 and demanded an end to U.S. corporate and government complicity in Israel’s crimes.
Led by a coalition of over a dozen local human rights groups, protesters began at Government Center, and then marched to the John F. Kennedy Federal Building, pointing to the $3 billion of US taxpayer dollars that go to the Israeli military each year. They then marched to Hewlett-Packard’s “Big Data Conference,” taking place at the Westin Waterfront hotel, asking the company to cease its contracts with Israel’s military. Community members came forward and participated in a speak out outside the hotel, calling attention to Hewlett-Packard’s complicity in Israel’s Human Rights violations.
The protestors marched from Boston City Hall Plaza to the Westin Waterfront Hotel.
Demands of the rally included:
· End the siege on Gaza
· Arms embargo on Israel, sanctions to cut off supplies of weapons & military aid from the US & Europe
· Suspend all free trade & bilateral agreements with Israel
· Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions as called for by the majority of Palestinians
Over 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, close to 9,000 injured and 400,000 have been displaced. These facts have spurred activists and organizers to take action and march in solidarity with the people of Palestine to demonstrate against the US government’s enabling role in the massacre, including the $3 billion in aid every year as well as its unconditional political support for the land siege and naval blockade that renders Gaza as the world’s largest “open air prison.”
The march also targeted Hewlett Packard (HP), as one of the companies complicit in the occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, and hence a target for the Palestinian called – and led – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Besides providing numerous other services to the IDF, HP developed and maintains the automated biometric access management system that controls the movement of Palestinians and specifically Palestinian workers through checkpoints in the West Bank. In addition, HP supplies the Israeli Navy with IT infrastructure equipment, thus enabling the naval blockade and siege of Gaza.
Yasmeen Hamdoun, a rally organizer and student at Suffolk University, explained her reason for attending: “As a Muslim whose role models in Islam taught me to stand up for justice, i believe it is my duty to speak out; for to be silent while others are oppressed is to join forces with the oppressor. I support this rally because I do not stand with HP and the US government’s financial support to Israel. I do not support the ruthless occupation, apartheid, and violence that has plagued the life of innocent Palestinians for 66 years. To resist is to boycott, so I boycott HP and call those who stand for justice to do the same.”
For more information on BDS, go to http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro
For more information on HP and its role in the Israeli occupation: https://wedivest.org/c/57/hp#.U-KuGvldUy1
WHO: This march was co-sponsored by the following organizations:
Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia
Black and Pink – Boston
Boston Alliance for Water Justice
Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
Chelsea Uniting Against the War
Communist Party of Boston
International Action Center Boston
Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine
Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights
Muslim Voice for Peace and Justice
Northeastern Law Students for Justice in Palestine
Suffolk Law (NLG) National Lawyers’ Guild
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
Voice of United School Bus Union Workers
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Boston
Workers World Party and Team Solidarity
Photos and video will be available after the event.
Facebook page for this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/812176275483913/permalink/812755462092661/