Hundreds of thousands march for Gaza as world demands cease-fire

Coordinated actions from DC to London to Jakarta designed to "send a powerful message not just to the Israelis but to the Western powers who are backing them that the public say 'not in our name.'"

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SOURCECommon Dreams

Major coordinated demonstrations took place across the world on Saturday to mark the 100th day of Israel’s bombardment and military assault on the people of the Gaza Strip that have now claimed the lives of nearly 24,000 Palestinians, a large majority of them innocent men, women, and children who had nothing to do with the attacks orchestrated by Hamas on October 7 of last year.

In London, as many as 500,000 people marched on Parliament Square to demand an immediate cease-fire Gaza, condemn their own U.K. government’s support of Israel’s disproportionate and “genocidal” onslaught, and warn against a wider regional war that experts warn is creeping closer by the day.

“This Global Day of Action, from Australia through to Asia, Europe and the Americas, is the first coordinated, international movement against the war being waged by Israel on the Palestinian people,” said Gaza Global Day of Action organizers ahead of the demonstration. “It will send a powerful message not just to the Israelis but to the Western powers who are backing them that the public say ‘not in our name.'”

In Dublin, organizers of a march that saw more than 100,000 march through city streets called it the largest rally for Palestinian rights in Irish history.

As the Irish Times reports:

The crowd was filled with Palestinian flags, posters calling for an “End to the Gaza genocide” as well as makeshift washing lines, with baby clothes hanging from it, representing the many young lives lost in the conflict.

At the front of the march, four people held mock corpses in bloody body bags to represent the growing number of civilian casualties.

In the United States, an estimated 400,000 people marched in Washington, D.C. to denounce the Israeli onslaught—which has claimed over 23,000 lives, including more than 10,000 children—as well as their own government’s complicity in the carnage. President Joe Biden was on the tip of many demonstrators’ tongues and polls in the U.S. have shown very little support across the political spectrum for how he is handling the situation.

Jake and Ida Braford, a young couple from Richmond, Virginia, who brought their two small children to the protest, told the Associated Press the situation in Gaza has made them unsure of their support for Biden come this year’s election.

“We’re pretty disheartened,” Ida told the news agency. “Seeing what is happening in Gaza, and the government’s actions makes me wonder what is our vote worth?”

Lexia Reyher and Eli Hausman explained to the Washington Post how they drove through the night from Indiana to attend the demonstration. “There’s strength in numbers,” Hausman told the newspaper. “When we all show up, people know we care. When we have an opportunity to come together, we’re going to take it.”

Following the march, demonstrators left a pile of bloodied baby dolls, including severe parts, in a pile outside the White House as a message to Biden. “The blood of the over 10,000 murdered children in Gaza is on his hands,” said CodePink co-founder Jodie Evans.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, thousands gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta to condemn the ongoing “genocide” in Gaza perpetrated by Israel with the backing of the U.S. government and other Western allies.

Large protests were also held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as in the South African cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg. On Thursday, a delegation from South Africa presented its case charging Israel with genocide before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

“We are here today to be part of the global day of action that will see demonstrations planned in more than 66 cities and at least 36 countries,” said a statement released by the organizers in Cape Town. “Today’s rally will be part of a united front of global voices, calling unconditionally for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.”

Cities in Israel were not among those holding large-scale demonstrations against the government’s ongoing military campaign in Gaza. One application by Israelis for a rally in Haifa to denounce the onslaught was rejected.

As Haaretzreported: “The commander of the police’s Coastal District, Maj. Gen. Daniel Levy, explained that the refusal to grant the permit was over “real concerns about a serious disruption to public order,” adding that there was a high likelihood that violence would break out between demonstrators and people opposing the demonstration.”

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