Tens of Thousands Descend on Washington to March for Gaza


Organizers estimated 50,000 protesters marched on Washington to demand an end to US support of Israel's operation in Gaza on August 2, 2014.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of demonstrators from across the country descended on Washington, DC, to call for an end to US support for Israel's latest military operation in Gaza. The demonstration included a march to the Washington Post and Caterpillar headquarters, where protesters delivered mock coffins to symbolize the over 1,600 Palestinians, mostly civilians, killed in Israel's onslaught. The march began and ended at the White House, where speakers such as Cornel West addressed the massive crowd.

At one point in the march, organizers had to reroute the procession because the front of the march was about to collide with the rear. In one section of the route, motorists were at a standstill as a dense stream of protesters passed. Organizers said that the march spanned twelve blocks—road and sidewalks included—leading to an estimate of 50,000 attendees.

The large turnout and presence of a diverse group of solidarity activists made a particular impact on some Palestinian-American demonstrators. "It gives me hope," a Palestinian-American woman from Connecticut said.

Thousands have been demonstrating in cities around the world since Israel's operation began on July 8. Palestinian solidarity protests throughout the United States have drawn record crowds demanding that the US stop its support of Israel's killing of Palestinians in Gaza. The US gives over $3 billion in taxpayer money to the Israeli government each year, and Congress recently approved $255 million in additional funding for Israel's Iron Dome.

Over 34,000 have signed a petition calling on the Obama administration and Congress to use all tools at their disposal to end the killing and the siege in Gaza.

The demonstration in Washington was organized by a coalition of activist groups, including Code Pink and ANSWER, which provided buses for protesters from as far away as Chicago and Florida.

Photos of the protest follow.

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