More than a thousand people gathered in Uptown Minneapolis to oppose the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza and the West Bank.
The march was organized by the Anti-War Committee, Students for Justice in Palestine, and American Muslims for Palestine. Chants of “Free Palestine” and “from the land to the sea, Palestine will be free” rang out across West Lake Street. As the march progressed, entire city blocks were overtaken by Palestinian flags.
Those in the protest on Sunday described what Israel is doing as genocide, saying that the indiscriminate bombing will level Gaza and those who reside in it. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 47 Palestinian families have been erased from the registry, because there are no more surviving members.
Israeli forces have constantly bombed the Gaza Strip, leveling entire city blocks and killing nearly 3,000 Palestinians and injuring nearly 10,000 more as of Sunday. Gaza has a population of over 2 million people in an area around twice the size of Washington, D.C.
The fierce bombing campaign is in response to a brutal attack on Southern Israel by Hamas militants, according to Israeli officials. In that attack, nearly 1,300 Israelis were killed and 3,400 injured. The attack caught the Israeli defense off guard during the end of Sukkot, an important Jewish holiday.
“Why do we have separate laws? Why do we have roads for Jews and separate roads for non-Jews? Why do we have that? It’s apartheid,” one organizer with American Muslims for Palestine said at Sunday’s march. “To see where this all started, you cannot look at last week, you cannot look at last month, you cannot pinpoint it to last year. You must go back to 1948.”
But in retaliation, Israel’s army has killed thousands of Palestinians, including over 700 children. Israeli forces have begun amassing along Gaza’s borders, signaling the beginning of a ground invasion.
“They call us terrorists, they call us hostiles, militants. They call us every name in the book, but they do not call us human beings. They do not treat us like human beings,” Nick Estes, assistant professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota and co-founder of the Red Nation podcast, said. “This project began here, on this land. Christian Zionism preceded the Zionism that happens in Palestine.”
The actions taken by Israel have been met with outstanding backlash, with hundreds of thousands of people protesting against the continued bombing of Gaza across the world. Despite this, world leaders have remained staunchly behind Israel, with the U.S. congress seemingly set on passing a $2 billion aid package to the state. The U.S. also has two Navy carrier groups in the area to support Israel. The Biden administration said carrier groups are not authorized to assist with Israel’s offensive, but meant to serve as a deterrent against Iran and its proxies.