Monday, November 26, 2012

Hundreds in New Orleans Protest Israeli Killings in Gaza

In one of the larger protests New Orleans has seen in recent years, nearly two hundred demonstrators marched through New Orleans' French Quarter on Saturday, November 17, to protest the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. The next day, a mostly student crowd of about 40 held a candlelight vigil at Tulane University, in an action organized by a new campus group called Tulane Students for Justice in Palestine.
One week later, in the aftermath of the declared ceasefire, a smaller march once again traveled through the French Quarter, calling for an end to US financial and diplomatic support for Israeli Apartheid, and pointing out that, despite the ceasefire, Palestinians were still being killed by Israeli military forces.
New Orleans has a long history of Palestine activism. During the Israeli bombardment of Gaza that began in late 2008, more than one thousand New Orleanians marched through the French Quarter in one of the largest protests the city had seen in the past decade. Two years later, New Orleans made international headlines when local activists disrupted a talk featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Israeli political and military leaders Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak. Despite the large local support and the range of organizations involved, the city's formerly-daily paper generally refuses to cover the protests - even when hundreds of demonstrators are right outside the newspaper's offices, as happened in 2009.
Protestors have pointed to links between the struggles of New Orleans and Palestine, both of which call for the Right of Return for their displaced residents, and both are facing mass home demolitions, mass jailings, and exploitative nonprofits, and both have inspired people from around the world through their creative resistance.

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