Following “flour massacre,” hundreds of thousands around the world protest Gaza genocide

by Jacob Crosse, Nick Barrickman and Dan DeVries

As the genocide in Gaza enters its fifth month, millions of people took to the streets around the world in protest. Protests were held on every major continent, in many cases drawing tens of thousands of people.

The US-backed Israeli ethnic cleansing campaign has officially killed over 30,400 Palestinians. Large protests have continued despite attempts by capitalist governments and the media to smear demonstrators as antisemitic.

Thousands marched in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday. Thousands marched in Caracas, Venezuela, and similar figures were seen in Milan, Italy, and many other cities.

Protesters held up signs that read “Hands off Rafah,” in opposition to a planned Israeli assault. Some 1.5 million people are currently sheltering in the southernmost city in Gaza. Over 80 percent of Palestinians have been displaced since October 7, with many families forced to relocate multiple times in order to try and evade constant Israeli attacks.

Despite repeated US airstrikes, in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, millions of people protested against the Gaza genocide beginning on Friday and through the weekend.

The US and NATO powers continue to provide military, economic and political support to Israel. This steadfast support continues even as reports confirm that Israel military forces are deliberately massacring starving civilians and aid workers.

Following the “flour massacre” in Gaza City last week, Al Jazeera reported Sunday that an aid truck delivering flour into Gaza was destroyed in an Israeli attack near Deir el-Balah. At least nine people had been killed, with an eyewitness recounting seeing “body parts in the air.”

In a statement issued on Sunday, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Adele Khodr wrote that in a single hospital in the northern Gaza Strip at “least ten children have reportedly died because of dehydration and malnutrition.”

In the United States, over 60,000 people demonstrated in nearly 200 cities in the past week, according to a tracker maintained by Jay Ulfedlder, program director at Nonviolent Action Lab, located at the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Gaza Protest Chicago
A section of the protest calling for an end to US funding of the genocide in Gaza, in Chicago, Illinois, March 2, 2024.

Protests were held over the weekend in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Tuscon, New York, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Washington D.C.

In Detroit, Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Joseph Kishore and vice presidential candidate Jerry White spoke with many of the more than 1,000 people who took part.

Kishore issued a statement from the rally, stating, “This is a genocide made in Washington.” He added that the genocide “is part of an expanding global war,” including the US-NATO war against Russia over Ukraine. “The fight against imperialism is a fight against capitalism,” Kishore said, and this requires the development of a movement in the working class.

Despite the pouring rain, thousands turned out to Washington Square Park in New York City. While demonstrations have been a near-daily event in the city since last October, Saturday’s event was one of the largest in the last couple of months.

Without exception, demonstrators expressed their disgust with President Biden and the Democratic Party. Many had previously voted for Biden but vowed not to do the same in 2024, though many did not have a clear idea of what to do as an alternative.

While there was a sense of urgency to stop the genocide in Gaza, participants expressed wanting to do more than showing up to protests and shouting slogans.

Gaza protest New York
Thousands of protesters braved the rain to protest in Washington Park, in New York City on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

Nick said he strongly supports “the Palestinian cause because it is not a war, it is a genocide. Everything that is happening right now in Gaza is just horrific. It is ridiculous to think about it.

“Our government is actually funding money, weapons for Israel for a long time,” he added. “This needs to be stopped immediately.”

“They make so much money off of wars. It is nothing new, if you look at the Afghanistan war, Iraq war, all based on lies. I was very young at that time when it was the Iraq war. And back in the day, there was no Instagram, Facebook and social media. So they were lying to us, always been there lying to us. The mainstream media, you are looking at fake news … and now people are waking up to the reality.”

In Washington D.C, around 2,000 people gathered outside the Israeli embassy to protest the slaughter. The event was held at the same location where 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell immolated himself in a fatal protest last Sunday.

One young person told reporters, “It was never about the hostages… Which is why you’re bombing them from the north, pushing them further out into the Egyptian border… The [Israeli] hostages themselves have made accounts that they were treated with dignity, as opposed to the Palestinians who are arrested and imprisoned in Israel who all have the same traumatizing experiences of being treated like animals, as opposed to human beings.”

One young worker said, “Especially the people in the working class in this country who need somebody to stand for them and need somebody to speak for them, because there’s definitely something wrong with the system that we live in.”

Genevieve spoke about the importance of the working class in stopping the genocide. She said “I think the only way to fight against oppressive forces like this is by getting the working class to be aware of this sort of injustice. There’s no institutional way to bring about progress. No way to do it within the system we have created… We can’t keep funding genocide like this, it’s not okay.”

When a reporter asked her about Biden’s recent appeal in Brownsville, Texas, for Trump to “join him” to pass anti-immigrant legislation in order to secure more military funding for Ukraine and Israel, she responded “He’s not working with what the people want… We’re not voting for Biden.”

She added, “We can’t work within the confines of a system that’s been created to serve people at the top.”

Originally published in WSWS.ORG

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