Three Days of Action

Three days of action took place in SanFrancisco this week, in response to Israel’sbombing of the Gazastrip.  On Sunday December 28th, there was an emergency protest at Powelland Market that lasted for a couple hours.  About 200 people came withnoisemakers, banners, signs and Palestinian flags.  Palestinian familiesjoined the protest, and speakers were mostly young Palestinians speaking aboutthe events in Gaza-twowomen performed spoken-word poetry.  The organizations that gathered thatday included AROC, HOMEYS, IJAN, and Palestinian student groups, who alsopromoted the following day’s rally.  Sara Kershnar from IJAN spoke outagainst the Zionist logic behind the bombing, saying, "they took theJewish holiday Hanukah, a holiday of resistance, and turned it into a massacreof civillians."

On Monday evening, December 29th, a candlelight vigil took place at Market andMontgomery Streets in downtown SanFrancisco, outside Senator Diane Feinstein’soffice.  The vigil turned into spontaneous direct actions as hundreds ofprotesters blocked the streets and shut down rush hour traffic through downtownSan Francisco,blocking the intersection for about two hours.  Protesters linked arms inthe streets, chanting, "Free, Free, Palestine! Stop Bombing Gaza!"  IJAN had a collective presence at the action: we participated in civildisobedience, shutting down the street, and supported the young Palestinianprotesters who took the lead in actions.  Finally, the crowd formed aspontaneous march through downtown, passing through Union Square’s busy streets of holidayshoppers, where there were more speak-outs.  The night culminated in adie-in on Market Street.The event was co-sponsored by Direct Action to Stop the War; the Middle EastChildren’s Alliance; Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism; SF Women in Black;Break the Silence Mural Project; Global Exchange; International JewishAnti-Zionist Network; San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper; BeaconPresbyterian Fellowship; Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area; and the AmericanFriends Service Committee SF Office.

On Tuesday, December 30th, protesters gathered in front of the Israeliconsulate, where police tried to contain the crowd on the sidewalk next to thebuilding, while directing Zionist demonstrators to the opposite side of thestreet.  However, the pro-Israeli group of about 50 was quicklyoverwhelmed by hundreds of boisterous pro-Palestinian demonstrators, whospilled out onto every sidewalk, finally pushing across police lines andentering into the streets.  The group chanted and danced in the street forabout an hour, blocking the intersection of Montgomery and Sansome, and thenmobilized for a march through downtown on Market Street, through Civic Centerand into the Tenderloin.  The march was several blocks long, with perhaps2000 people participating.  The demonstration was part of a national Dayof Action called by the ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom, FreePalestine Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda,International Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *