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Millions Plan to Take Part in Global March Calling for Israeli Ceasefire in Gaza

Israel’s genocide in Gaza has killed over 30,000 Palestinians so far, with thousands more buried under the rubble.

Thousands of demonstrators march through the downtown streets to protest the death toll inflicted on Palestinians during the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza on October 28, 2023, in Los Angeles, California.

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On Saturday, millions of protesters around the world will take part in demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, calling for a permanent Israeli ceasefire.

The march is also in response to Israel likely launching a “full-scale invasion of Rafah,” considered to be the last major sheltering place for displaced residents in Gaza, which is set to happen around March 9, just one day prior to the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Groups organizing the collective action on Saturday include Palestinian Youth Movement, National Students for Justice in Palestine, Answer Coalition, the People’s Forum, International People’s Assembly, Al-Awda and Palestinian American Community Center.

On social media, organizers will use the #shutitdown4palestine hashtag to showcase the protests. A website with more details about the protest has also been created, at shutitdown4palestine.org.

“People around the world are going into the streets in cities and towns, including in the United States, as part of the global day of protest on Saturday, March 2,” a description of the event on the website states. “Gaza is facing famine, its hospitals are besieged, threats of ground invasion in Rafah loom near, and Israel continues its onslaught on the over 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

Munir Marwan, organizer with the Palestinian Youth Movement, elaborated on the need for the global protests, emphasizing an event that is taking place in New York City.

“New York City is the financial capital of this country, where much of the funding and backing for zionist settlements comes from. In the midst of a genocide, the Biden administration has funneled billions in U.S. taxpayer money to fuel the slaughter in Gaza,” Marwan said in a comment to Truthout.

He went on:

Billionaires don’t pay taxes, but they do profit off of wars paid for by ordinary people. Weapons made here take lives every day in Palestine. Meanwhile, “news” outlets like the New York Times fail to report honestly on these deaths: our breaking bodies are never breaking news.

“The U.S. is feeling the pressure to push for ceasefire. Further killing in Rafah looms if a deal is not reached before Ramadan,” Marwan added. “We must act now — our actions and mass mobilizations in the next two weeks are poised to have more impact than ever before during these past 4 months.”

Youseff Baddar, founder of Toledo 4 Palestine, also spoke to Truthout about the organization’s planned event for Saturday, which will take place at Franklin Park Mall at 1 p.m. in Toledo, Ohio.

“Here in Toledo, we are just one more group answering the call for a Global Day of Action to raise awareness about the ongoing U.S. funded genocide in Gaza, and to specifically call attention to the planned Israeli operations in Gaza’a southernmost city, Rafah,” Baddar said. “Over a million Palestinians fled to Rafah as the Israelis told them it was a ‘safezone.’ Since it was declared a safezone, the Israelis have periodically bombed it, and in recent weeks those bombing campaigns on Rafah have intensified and become more frequent.”

“Our immediate demand is a permanent ceasefire. But that is the bare minimum, because the cycle of violence in Palestine and Israel will not end until the root causes of the issue are addressed,” Baddar added. “That means an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, an end to Israel’s refusal to honor Palestinians’ right of return, and an end to Israel’s insistant refusal to honor Palestinians’ right to self-determination.”

Much of the global protest will focus on demanding that Israel end its genocidal siege of Gaza and calling on the United States government to forcefully demand a lasting ceasefire.

While President Joe Biden has suggested that a partial ceasefire could be coming as soon as next week — a claim that was disputed by Israeli officials — his administration has thrown its full support behind Israel’s genocide. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions at the United Nations calling for an immediate ceasefire and sends billions in aid to Israel each year, with the Biden administration pressing for another $14 billion in military aid to be passed by Congress.

Israel’s genocide in Gaza has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians since October 7, 12,000 of whom are children. The massacres have displaced nearly 2 million Gaza residents, and it’s estimated that another 85,000 could die in the coming months without a ceasefire.

Many of the protests planned for Saturday will be happening outside of the country, including in Arequipa, Peru; Calgary, Canada; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Havana, Cuba; and Tokyo, Japan, to name a few.

Nearly 100 events in total are set to occur over the weekend, according to the shutitdown4palestine website. U.S.-based events on Saturday include protests at Washington Square Park in New York City, at 1 p.m.; Harry Bridges Plaza in San Francisco, California, at 12 p.m.; at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C., at 1 p.m.; Kiener Plaza in St. Louis, Missouri, at 2 p.m.; Austin, Texas, City Hall, at 1 p.m.; with a more comprehensive list of dozens of other events available at the ANSWER Coalition website.

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