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Protest for Palestine demands ceasefire

Editors note 11/06/23: In the print edition of this article the name of the park the protest was held was incorrectly printed as Robbinsdale, due to a printing  error.  

Across the street from the Farmers Market at Robinson Park, a few dozen people quickly turned into a few hundred gathered peacefully in support of a cease-fire in Gaza and the freedom of Palestine.

Samidoun the Palestine Prisoner Solidarity Network was a lead group organizing the protest. Their name – Samidoun – means “those who are steadfast.” This also was a goal of the protest, to continue to be steadfast in their support, Michael Butler said – an organizer with Samidoun.

“We know the Palestinians are fighting, and so we fight with them. We keep fighting. When they’re energized, mobilized and organized,  we energize and mobilize. We're gonna keep fighting as well,” Butler said.

The protest was on  National Day of Action for Palestine with protests occurring in cities throughout the nation, including Washington D.C. where thousands of people attended, including Albuquerque representatives.

Recent attacks in the Gaza Strip by Israel have left almost 10,000 Palestinians dead. The United Nations issued a statement saying “Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide,” and has also called for a cease-fire.

After gathering at Robbinsdale Park, the protest marched down Central Avenue to Civic Plaza where protesters gathered to listen to speeches before the march back to the Park.

One Palestinian speaker, who wished to remain anonymous for safety, said in recent weeks they lost any digital contact with their family in Gaza.

“I have 10,000 relatives on the ground, and as of right now, I have tons of family that have died – not only in recent weeks, but in years of my life and upbringing,” the speaker said.

On Oct. 20, President Joe Biden requested an additional $14 billion in aid to support Israel’s defense following Hamas' – a terrorist group – Oct. 7 air raid on Israel.

The current bill that would obtain the $14 billion for Israel passed the House, but is opposed by the Senate. Biden has issued a veto warning – not because of the funding itself, but due to the bipartisan nature of the bill.

“The bill fails to meet the urgency of the moment by deepening our divides and severely eroding historic bipartisan support for Israel’s security,” the White House statement reads.

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Bob Anderson – a Vietnam Veteran with Stop The War Machine and Veterans for Peace – who’s ethnically Jewish, spoke about the direct impact of the U.S. funding on the condition of Palestinian people.

“This apartheid racism would not exist if it were not for the United States’ political-military supplies,” Anderson said.

All three New Mexico house representatives voted against the funding for Israel, however, none have specifically called for a cease-fire. Rep. Melanie Stansbury and Teresa Leger Fernández have called for a “humanitarian pause,” but the length has not been defined.

The commonality in colonialism faced by both Palestinians and Indigenous folks in New 

Mexico was brought up by several speakers as well. “From Tiwa land to the sea, Palestine will be free,” was chanted by those at the protest.

Of the about 2.3 million people in Gaza, many are refugees and descendants of the Palestinians displaced when the Israeli state was created in 1948 – colonizing the area.

Documents published by +927 magazine show Israel’s Intelligence Ministry has researched and supports the full displacement of Palestinians to Egypt, which would be ethnic cleansing if it were to occur.

“This is not a new thing to us because the people in this state understand colonization. We fight against it,” community organizer Kuveni Scanlan said.

This protest follows multiple others in support of Palestine in Albuquerque in recent weeks. All have carried calls for action to elected officials and demanded a cease-fire.

“It's a touch of fascism in this country and what they're using against people like us. It's this mythology of antisemitism. We're not antisemitic. We love Jewish people, and we love Palestinian people,” Anderson said.

Maddie Pukite is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at on Twitter @maddogpukite

Maddie Pukite

Maddie Pukite is the 2023-2024 editor of the Daily Lobo. 

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