Thursday, November 29, 2007

Annapolis no, Palestine yes!

Published Nov 29, 2007
New York City

New York City
Photo: Charlotte Kates

Hoisting signs reading “Annapolis—No; Free Palestine—Yes,” more than 50 people held a militant picket line during the evening rush hour outside the Israeli Mission in New York City Nov. 27. The action was one of several held across the United States to protest the Bush administration’s so-called Middle East peace conference at the U.S. Navy War College in Annapolis, Md.

Chanting “End the siege of Gaza” and “U.S. out of the Middle East,” protesters pushed back an attempt by New York police to force the swelling picket line onto a tiny sliver of pavement. They liberated most of the sidewalk on a busy block of Second Avenue between 42nd and 43rd streets.

Hollywood, Calif.

Hollywood, Calif.
Photo: Ramon Armendiaz

“It’s an outrage and insult to the anti-war movement—which is most of the people in this country—that Bush would call a ‘peace conference’ while occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and preparing for a new war in Iran,” declared Larry Holmes of the Troops Out Now Coalition, which initiated the call for protests against the Annapolis meeting. “This is a war conference, a colonialist conference.”

Charlotte Kates of Al-Awda New York and New Jersey Solidarity-Activists for the Liberation of Palestine led the crowd in chanting, “Not one more penny, not one more dime for Israel’s crimes.” She said that while the Annapolis gathering was aimed at sowing more divisions within sections of the Palestinian and Arab leadership, the Palestinian people are united in their opposition to any bogus agreement made under U.S. aegis.

“Thousands of people came out today to protest in Gaza, and also in the West Bank, despite severe repression,” Kates reported.

In Los Angeles County the same day, some 50 protestors with signs saying “Annapolis—No; Free Palestine—Yes! No U.S./Israeli Colonialism” held a moving picket at the heart of Hollywood’s crowded holiday shopping district.

BAYAN-USA, member organization of the Los Angeles Troops Out Now Coalition, led militant chants of “One, two, three, four, we don’t want your racist war” and “Bush lies, people die.” Other member organizations of LA-TONC who were present were the International Action Center and the March 25th Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

Also giving solidarity statements at the rally were Yael Korin of The Committee to End Israeli Apartheid, Ester Chiccone of the Communist Party USA, Hamid Khan of the South Asian Network, Namibia Donadio of the youth group FIST—Fight Imperialism, Stand Together—and Mazen Al Moukdad of Al-Awda Right of Return Coalition.

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