Copley Square and the streets of Back Bay flooded with hundreds of pro-Palestine protestors Sunday in a “Stop the Genocide” rally calling for people around the world to see and demand an end to the loss of Palestinian lives.
“I am haunted by the same questions and thoughts every day: Are you still alive?” said a young female Palestinian speaker at the rally, talking about her fears for her family in Gaza. “Do you have food? Do you have water? Where are you sleeping today? Will you be alive tomorrow?”
As the death toll sky-rockets two weeks into the brutal Israel-Hamas war, the demonstration in Boston on Sunday mirrored many similar large-scale pro-Palestine rallies around the world, including a crowd estimated at 100,000 in London on Saturday.
According to the Health Ministry in Gaza, over 4,300 Palestinians have been killed in the region since the war began. Over 1,400 people have been killed in Israel, according to the Israeli government.
People at the rally broadly called for an immediate ceasefire from Israel, an end to the blockades keeping aid from entering Gaza — as of Sunday 20 humanitarian aid trucks were let through the border — an end to U.S. support and aid for Israel, and a free Palestine.
Many progressive and cultural groups gathered at the Boston rally, including representatives of labor, queer, Muslim, Native American, Democratic Socialists of America, and other organizations.
Many Jewish groups and individuals also prominently showed their support at the rally, waving signs with messages like “Not in our name.”
“As Jews, we have experienced genocide,” said Eli Gerzon, member of the anti-Zionist organization Jewish Voice for Peace. “We have been forced to flee our homes. Therefore, we are against genocide. We cannot use our grief to impose more grief on others.”
Many at the rally expressed anger with American and world leaders and Western media coverage of the war, chanting “Biden, you can’t hide, We charge you with genocide” and “Every time the media lie, a neighborhood in Gaza dies.”
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“Thinking of President Biden’s visit after the strike on al-Ahli Hospital in which he embraced Netanyahu,” said Jean-Luc Pierite, President of the North American Indian Center of Boston Board. “Where are the open arms for the mothers that grieve? Where are the open arms for the dying children, the dead babies? Where are the open arms of the United States in this moment? Wrapped around a war criminal.”
Organizers urgently called for people in the crowd to continue to share Palestinian voices and stories and take part in protests, asking “what is the most we are willing to do to stop a totalizing genocide?”
Palestine supporters rally in front of the library at Copley Square Sunday.(Chris Christo/Boston Herald)
A large crowd of Palestine supporters rally in front of the library at Copley Square. (Chris Christo/Boston Herald)