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Global protests erupt against US-NATO-backed Israeli genocide of Palestinians as official death toll in Gaza passes 8,000

Millions protest throughout the world against genocide in Gaza

For the second weekend in row, millions of people on every inhabited continent have taken to the streets to oppose the genocide against the Palestinian people by Israel, supported by the major imperialist governments. In many cases, protests were much larger this weekend than those held a week ago.

Hundreds march in opposition to Israeli genocide in Scotland.

Demonstrations have erupted in the wake of the communications blackout, intensified bombing and beginning of the ground invasion of Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces on Friday. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Saturday that the military campaign had “moved to a new phase.” In a subsequent television address, IDF Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi confirmed, “This war has stages, and today we are moving to the next stage. Our forces are currently operating on the ground in the Gaza Strip.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a nation-wide address in which he justified the ongoing slaughter as a “war for humanity... against barbarism.” Pointing to the indispensable role of the US government and its NATO allies in the extermination campaign, Netanyahu emphasized “our allies in the Western world and our partners in the Arab world, all understand that if we don’t win, they will be next... in this ‘axis of evil.’”

Netanyahu added that his government has received “extensive international support,” starting with President Joe Biden.

“Leaders from the US and Europe, led by Biden, the Prime Minister of Britain, the Chancellor of Germany, the ..leaders of Cyprus, France, the Netherlands and many others... they came here and conveyed a very clear message, ‘not only do we support you, we also pray and yearn for your victory.’”

Late Saturday evening, partial communications were restored in some sections of Gaza. Under the cover of darkness, IDF foces pummeled residential neighborhoods with massive bombs and white phosphorus.

As of Sunday, the latest figures from the Gaza Ministry of Health reveal that at least 8,005 Palestinians have been killed by IDF forces since October 7.

At least 3,324 of the Palestinian dead in Gaza are children, another 2,062 are women. In a statement issued Sunday, the global humanitarian organization Save the Children reported that the number of children killed in Gaza in the last three weeks “surpasses annual number of children killed in conflict zones since 2019.”

“Children make up more than 40 percent” of the people killed in Gaza, the organization reported. The organization noted that since “a further 1,000 children [are] reported missing in Gaza, assumed buried under the rubble, the death toll is likely much higher.”

In the occupied West Bank, which Hamas does not control, at least 112 Palestinians have been killed by Israel security forces and Zionist settlers since October 7, including 36 children and women. Over 1,900 have been injured.

Smoke and explosions caused by Israeli bombardment are seen on the horizon in northern Gaza, Saturday, October 28, 2023. [AP Photo/Abed Khaled]

In Gaza, every major hospital is on the brink of collapse and at risk of running out of power at any moment. Hospitals, which have turned into refugee camps, are also facing Israeli military attack, a blatant war crime.

On Sunday, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), which has staff at the Al-Quds hospital in Gaza city, warned that the IDF had once again ordered everyone inside the hospital to evacuate immediately.

The PRCS statement said that their teams were under “violent attacks and shelling” from the IDF.

Some 300,000 residents north of Wadi Gaza, including those trying to survive in the Al Shati Refugee camp, were bombarded with flyers from Israeli warplanes on Saturday warning them that “Gaza” including “shelters in the Gaza Strip” were “unsafe.”

“You must evacuate immediately and head to the areas south of Wadi Gaza,” the IDF flyer warned.

The IDF flyer reads: "Warning, urgent. To the residents of the Gaza Strip. Gaza Governorate has become a battlefield. Shelters in the northern Gaza Strip and Gaza Governorate are unsafe. You must evacuate immediately and head to the areas south of Wadi Gaza."

Israeli war crimes, overseen and directed by the Pentagon, have provoked mass outrage among broad sections of the world’s population, regardless of age or ethnicity.

Topping last week’s mass demonstration, an estimated half a million people flooded Westminster Bridge in London on Saturday.

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At the same time, hundreds of pro-Palestinian supporters held a peaceful mass sit-in calling for an end to the war at Waterloo Station, the busiest railway station in the UK.

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Throughout Europe, hundreds of thousands of people attended demonstrations in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland; Paris, France; Stockholm, Sweden; Berlin, Germany and many other cities.

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Despite the overwhelmingly peaceful character of the protests, videos have emerged on social media of police assaulting demonstrators.

At a well-attended protest in Germany, Christoph Vanderier, the national secretary of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) of Germany, reported, “Despite police repression, thousands demonstrate against the genocide in Gaza on the Oranienplatz in Berlin.”

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Several videos have emerged on social media video showing thuggish police in Europe beating and assaulted protesters. At least two people were arrested in London.

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In Paris, police assaulted dozens of protesters and arrested at least 21. Some 1,400 demonstrators were also fined for participating in the “banned” protest.

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Massive demonstrations were held throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Tens of thousands of workers and youth took to the streets in Australia over the weekend, marching in protest to the Israeli regime’s genocidal war against Gaza. In Sydney more than 15,000 marched and Melbourne around 25,000 attended a rally on Sunday. About 500 joined a vigil in Brisbane on Friday.

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A broad range of workers and young people joined the protests, expressing widespread anger at the horrors being witnessed in Gaza. There was also mass anger directed toward the Labor government and its complete support for the Israeli atrocities.

Full report on the protests in Australia

For the third week in a row, tens of thousands of people took part in protests across New Zealand on Saturday to oppose the genocidal bombing of Gaza by the Zionist regime in Israel.

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In Auckland, more than 7,000 people marched from Aotea Square to Britomart. In Wellington, 5,000 people marched to parliament from Civic Square. Thousands more joined rallies in Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Hastings, Nelson, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Whanganui.

Full report on the protests in New Zealand

In Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, tens of thousands marched to the US embassy where they denounced the United States and Israel.

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In the southern state of Kerala, India, some 100,000 people participated in a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Saturday. Protesters denounced Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his fulsome support for “Crime Minister Netanyahu.”

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In Istanbul, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was obliged to transform what was originally slated to be a centenary celebration of the creation of the Turkish state, into a mass pro-Palestine protest dubbed the “Great Palestine Meeting.” An estimated 1 million people attended the rally, with many wearing headbands that read, “We are all Palestinians,” and “End the genocide, let the children live.”

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Over 3,000 protesters in Jakarta, Indonesia marched on the US embassy on Saturday demanding an end to US support for the war, prompting the deployment of 1,000 security forces.

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Half a million march in London against Gaza war: “The media are not showing this, they’re not showing the truth”

Saturday’s “March for Palestine” was the largest since the beginning of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza. Following marches of 150,000 and 300,000 in the last two weeks, an estimated 500,000 participated in a massive repudiation of the war.

Assembling at Victoria Embankment, the march crossed two of London’s bridges before proceeding past the seat of government in Whitehall and ending in Parliament Square.

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Thousands of Metropolitan Police officers imposed Section 12 and 14 Public Order Act restrictions, dictating that all protesters keep to a defined route and preventing anyone from gathering outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens.

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The march was called under the slogan “Ceasefire Now!”, but to assert that this can be achieved by persuading Sunak and Starmer to make a polite appeal to Netanyahu and his government of war criminals, let alone their paymaster the Biden administration in Washington, is politically criminal.

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The Socialist Equality Party participated in the march and handed out thousands of leaflets advertising our upcoming meeting in London against the war, on November 9, “Stop Israel’s Genocidal War on Gaza!

The SEP’s call for the meeting states, “Standing fully behind the war criminals in Jerusalem, Washington and London is the Labour Party, whose leader Sir Keir Starmer is an accomplice to mass murder, despised by workers and youth.” It concludes, “The only force that can defend the Palestinians and put an end to the global eruption of imperialist violence is the international working class.”

Many in attendance stopped by the SEP’s stall in Parliament Square to find out about the meeting and to purchase the pamphlet “Stop Israeli Genocide!

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Fahmawi, a British-Palestinian from London, held a homemade placard calling for action against companies funding the Israeli genocide.

Fahmawi (left)

“In terms of the severity of the situation, it is nearly as dangerous as the Nakba in 1948. We are reaching a tipping point…We can all do our part in terms of boycotting, divesting and sanctioning, whether as an organisation or as a worker, saying no to being complicit in Israel’s genocide. I have seen on the internet working people are calling for a general strike next Friday. People in the UK wanting to strike, not go to work, not fund any companies.”

Kareemah, a student in London, held a placard condemning Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who backed Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinians.

Yusuf, a worker in London originally from Algeria, said, “The media are not showing this, they’re not showing the truth. The protesting here, broadcasting on social media showing the real truth to society, is the only way to get it across—the mainstream media won’t show it.”

Yusuf

The assault on Gaza is “disgusting, it’s terrorism, it’s genocide. A ceasefire needs to happen right now. The Israeli army’s intention is the same as it has been the last 75 years: to wipe out Gaza, to take the land.”

The British government’s response has been “disgusting, partnering with Israel, standing with Israel—both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.”

Yusuf supported strike action against the Israeli war machine, along with “boycotts against anything that’s funding military weapons, in any way, being sent to Israel.”

Full Report

Workers and young people protesting Israeli assault on Gaza speak from demonstrations across the UK

Reporting teams from the World Socialist Web Site spoke with people protesting Israel’s war on Gaza at demonstrations mobilising tens of thousands across the United Kingdom on Saturday, including in Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Glasgow and Inverness.

Leeds

A section of the demonstation in Leeds, October 28, 2023

Kyle, a rail worker, said, “The Western powers have been complicit in war crimes in the Middle East for years. They fully back the Israeli colonial project. They don’t care about the lives of Palestinians. They talk of a ceasefire but they don’t really want one. They want the Palestinians to be eradicated from the Gaza Strip, and eventually from the West Bank. They want Israel to have full control of the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

“The US has a wider agenda in the region. Iran is the overbearing issue in all this. The US has sent two aircraft carriers into the Mediterranean. The current events are not part of a secret plan by the Americans, but they’re seeking to benefit from this if it escalates into a wider war.

“I don’t think the Americans can succeed. It’s a doomed project, it’ll end in disaster like the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. They’re not going to successfully invade Iran or bring about regime change there.”

Susanne attended with her children and friend Amel. She said, “We are here today because we're completely paralysed with grief, and we can't do anything else. We can't eat, we can't sleep, we can't think. I'm Palestinian, so the people being affected in Gaza are my family. But also, on a human level, I would like to think that I would stand for this, even if it was anyone else who's undergoing this kind of genocidal deprivation of any form of human rights.

Suesanne with her children and Amel

She continued, “I always wonder what I would have done at the time when the Jews were severely persecuted. And I would hope that I would be doing this [protesting] and I would hope so would my children.”

Amel added, “If it was the Israelis in the shoes of the Palestinians, I would shout for the Israelis. And also, there are so many courageous Israeli Jews who are standing for the truth, and they are being oppressed, shut up, threatened, and all sorts of things.”

Sheffield

Bill, who lost his son during the Iraq war, explained, “I can’t believe what is going on. I struggle with words to express my anger. All our so-called leaders have jumped on the bandwagon and are defending war crimes.

Bill

“We are not accurately represented. If you stopped 100 people today, 99 would be against what is happening, and the government and the press are stopping their views from being expressed.

“I ask myself when Israel is finished in Palestine, who is next? The US and Biden have for a long time been feeding a monster. Israel doesn’t respect the international laws of war. It is a state established by pinching land.”

Abdullah and his friend Nasser are from Yemen. Abdullah explained his English wasn’t strong enough to say everything he wanted but wished to make it clear that: “I have come today to support the women and children in Gaza. Israel is killing them, cutting water, food, electricity and murdering innocent people.

Nasser (left) and Abdullah

“The attack on Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas, because they are killing innocent people. People are dying in hundreds.”

Abdullah said that the war in Gaza is connected to what is happening with the war in Yemen. “There has been a war for nine years. Governments have ignored the genocide taking place there.”

Nasser added that “people continue to die of starvation. The situation is bad there: no electricity, food, water. But despite this, hundreds of thousands in Yemen are coming out to support the Palestinians. They know what they are going through.”

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Thousands protest in Israel calling for an end to the bombing of Gaza

Israelis joined millions of people throughout the world, opposing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people, taking to the streets in several towns and cities to demand the government end the war and do everything necessary to bring home the 230 hostages being held in Gaza.

In Tel Aviv, hundreds of angry young protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Saturday evening holding banners saying, “Ceasefire now” and “Bring back the hostages, alive, now.”

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Haim Rubinstein, for the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, demanded, “Is there a plan? We don’t know. That’s what we want to find out.” She added, “We also want to know the meaning of what happened last night,” referring to the IDF ground invasion of Gaza and the bombardment of 150 Hamas underground targets, including tunnels where the hostages are believed to be held.

Hundreds demonstrated outside Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea, accusing him of responsibility for the war, demanding he resign and chanting, “Take responsibility for the sake of the people.” At a demonstration in Jerusalem, banners called for a prisoner exchange. Hundreds took part in a rally in the northern port city of Haifa, home to both Jews and Palestinians, with other rallies held in Beersheba, Herzylia, Netanya and Kfar Saba and other towns.

Supporters held at least 20 vigils for the hostages’ families and memorials for those killed around the country on Saturday night.

These protests followed a rally Tuesday when hundreds protested in Tel Aviv, demanding the government secure the release of the hostages. At an earlier rally on October 14, angry demonstrators turned on Netanyahu, chanting “Go to jail, Bibi! [Netanyahu’s nickname]” and “Leave.” Placards read, “Bibi, you have blood on your hands,” “We’ve been abandoned,” “Return the hostages immediately,” and “There’s no trust, quit.” They accused Netanyahu and his government of being more interested in their own survival than the Israeli people.

While these protests are small and reflect a Zionist opposition to the Netanyahu government, they are indicative of growing concerns about the purpose and direction of the war that threatens to escalate across the region, putting the survival of the state itself at risk.

Full Report

Tens of thousands protest in Chicago: “Biden has been a warmonger since the beginning”

Between 30,000 and 40,000 protested in Chicago Saturday in response to the latest wave of bombardments by the Israeli regime against Gaza.

Responding to Biden's claim that he did not trust the death toll coming out of Gaza, protesters in Chicago on October 23, carried a banner with the names of the over 7,000 people who have been murdered since October 7, 2023 in the US-NATO backed Israeli slaughter.

Young people and workers marched through the streets from Upper Wacker Drive all the way through the commercial Michigan Avenue and the rest of Chicago’s downtown Loop. 

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Protestors chanted against US President Joe Biden for his support for the Israeli government, and many had signs against the US role in the genocide. 

A number of Jewish youth among those at the protest carried signs such as “Anti-Zionist Jew for Palestinian liberation” or “Another Jew saying, ‘Free Palestine.’”

One person also carried a sign “Brandon doesn’t speak for Chicago,” indicting Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson and the City Council for passing a resolution supporting the Israeli assault on Gaza. 

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Two young students spoke out against the genocide. One said, “I think they should stop killing innocent Palestinians. I think Israel is a terrorist state. There is a lot of money being wasted on Israel. We need a ceasefire right now.”

His brother added, “And there are also many other problems in this country that can be solved.” 

A young worker said, “We need to stop funding this military-industrial complex. We need to stop paying for bombs, guns and bullets. We need to start investing here in the United States in the people that are going to make a difference in the future. And we need to stop electing politicians who are just profiting off the war machine constantly. 

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“I’m tired of seeing people with my last name on these lists of dead martyrs. I’m tired of seeing pictures of babies torn apart on social media. And I’m tired of seeing CNN completely disregard all of it. Fox News paints us as terrorists when we’ve been contributing positively to this country. It’s insane.

“We’re ‘human animals’. We’re dehumanized. We’re tired of it.”

“Biden has been a warmonger since the beginning. It’s absolutely despicable. I think we only voted for him because we were so afraid of what Trump was doing, especially with the Arab and Muslim ban, and how racist he is. But Biden is no better. He’s a Zionist, he said it himself. He said if there wasn’t an Israel he’d create an Israel. It’s just to fund the military-industrial complex. It’s just so politicians and Lockheed Martin and Boeing can keep profiting off our deaths. 

“I think Gen Z is showing us how important the younger generation’s voice is. When we were younger, we were just told to cover our eyes and ears and not look at the world around us, and not contribute. But it’s really important that the working class and the younger generation get involved, because ultimately we’re the majority. These politicians and the people profiteering are the minority — and that should be made known.”

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Another worker added, “For decades, my entire life I’ve watched Israeli settlers attacking Palestinians in their own homes, completely defying any ceasefire. They’re pretending this is a war against Hamas. And if you really want to argue it’s Hamas, then we can take a look at the West Bank and see the fact that Israeli settlers are attacking the West Bank.

“Burning homes, not allowing Palestinians to protest, people just getting shot and killed for having a Palestinian flag on them. Children and women and young people are constantly arrested and put in Israeli prisons. We call those hostages, right? We know that one is the occupier and one is the occupied. The occupied have the international right to resist occupation using whatever means necessary.

“We need to rearrange our budget so that we’re actually funding our own social systems here: our own health care, education, we have people living in poverty. We have one of the highest prison populations in any country in the world.”

“A lot of our Jewish brothers and sisters are out here protesting with us”: Tens of thousands march for Gaza in New York City 

A massive and diverse crowd of between 50,000 and 100,000 marched through New York City to oppose the slaughter of Gaza. The march began shortly after 3 p.m. from the Brooklyn Museum, past Barclays Center, over the Brooklyn Bridge and through the streets of Manhattan after sunset, shutting down many of the busiest thoroughfares in the city. The crowd was drawn from all corners of the city, largely young, and included Jews, Muslims, Arabs and all other religious and ethnic backgrounds.

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Demonstrators demanded an end to the genocide in Gaza and liberation of Palestinians. Many slogans and chants emphasized resistance and denounced the criminal role of President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, you’re committing genocide” accompanied the familiar chants of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” and “Long Live the Intifada.”

Placards like “Jews for a free Palestine” and “Speak up for Gaza” rejected the attempt to equate opposition to genocide with antisemitism.

“As a Jewish person myself, I feel really passionate about standing up against something that is generally, they say, being done in our name,” a young woman told WSWS.

“I grew up under a lot of Zionist brainwashing that I feel very fortunate to have broken out of. And looking back on it, I’m horrified! And I just want to use my voice to help promote that [Zionism] is wrong.”

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“We’re out here to protest the continued occupation, apartheid, dehumanization and war crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people,” another protester told WSWS reporters.

“A lot of our Jewish brothers and sisters are out here protesting with us,” he added.

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Another protester said he attended the protest because, “imperialism is a terrible thing.”

“Israel is an imperialist state. It was founded by British colonizers, and it is being directly backed by America right now. Everything about it is imperialistic.”

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WSWS supporters handed out 1,000 copies of the statement, “A call to the working class and youth: Stop the imperialist-Zionist genocide in Gaza!” There was a warm response to the call for an orientation to the working class as the only social force capable of stopping the genocide, as opposed to the Democratic Party that is fully responsible for the ongoing massacre.

Over 10,000 rally in Los Angeles against genocide in Gaza: “Antisemitism is a real issue, but I think casting anti-Zionism as the same thing is very sinister.”

Some 10,000 demonstrators marched in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon in opposition to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza. Protesters from across the city converged on Pershing Square and marched to City Hall.

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Significantly, the protest drew workers from all walks of life. WSWS reporters spoke with artists, teachers, healthcare workers, actors, and others. Naturally, many of the demonstrators were Palestinians, but it drew participants from a wide range of ethnicities and nationalities. A number of Jewish protestors were present, all of whom were disgusted with the crimes that were being carried out in their name. Meanwhile, others held signs making it clear that they rejected antisemitism, and that their enemy was the Zionist state, not the Jewish people.

Protesters carry signs at Los Angeles demonstration that read, "Not in our name," "Never again is now," and "Stop the genocide. End the Occupation."

One protester, who didn’t want to be named, said about the ubiquitous slanders of antisemitism from the pro-Israel camp, “I think it’s frustrating. When Palestinians speak about their cause, they gotta hold their breath. The dehumanization of people in the Middle East has been a thing since at least the first Gulf War, right? Now, antisemitism is a real issue, but I think casting anti-Zionism as the same thing is very sinister. It’s methodological. They make the two out to be the same thing because it’s politically convenient...”

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There were a handful of protestors waving Armenian flags, and some of them drew parallels between the onslaught on Gaza and the Armenian genocide. One Armenian protestor said. “I’m here today because it seems our political leaders have forgotten about the promise of ‘Never Again.’ It’s happening again now, and Joe Biden—who I voted for but will not vote for again—is supporting this. He’s on the wrong side of history.”

A section of the thousands that march in support of Palestine in Los Angeles, California, October 29, 2023.

Popular chants included “Hey hey, ho ho, Genocide Joe has got to go!” And “Biden Biden you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” Other slogans were critical of US militarism more generally: “From Palestine to Mexico, these walls have got to go! From Palestine to the Philippines, stop the US war machine!”

One speaker from Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA denounced in no uncertain terms the University of California’s support—both political and material—to the state of Israel.

As the demonstration marched to City Hall, it passed by the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. A protester told the WSWS, “… it’s like we’re dealing with the same group of people. We’re not getting bombed here of course, it’s not nearly as bad here, but the cops here kill indiscriminately.”

“I have colleagues who are at Al-Shifa Hospital [in Gaza]. I haven’t been in contact with them for 24 hours... It's quite terrifying,” a protester told WSWS reporters.

“I voted for Biden. I am now appalled,” she added. “I think it’s US sponsored genocide. The fact that my tax dollars are going to this and we are watching innocent people being killed, it’s just heartbreaking.”

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In response to the call by the WSWS for a political general strike to stop the war, one demonstrator replied, “The politicians aren’t listening to us, they never listen. It’s not that they don’t hear us, they just don’t care. They have their own agendas, their own interests, and I guess genocide isn’t a red line for them. It’s not like they’re stupid. They’re actually pretty clever when they need to be, they know what’s what. It’s that they don’t care to stop it as long as it’s profitable. So yeah, that’s a really good idea. If workers stop making weapons, handling weapons, for Israel, what would they do then?”

Over 15,000 protest in San Francisco

In San Francisco, California on Saturday, over 15,000 people gathered for a peaceful protest against the war. After convening near the Ferry Building, the crowd split in various directions, with one large group proceeding to block Highway 101 and another proceeding to march down Market Street.

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Protesters chanted “Free, free Palestine!” and many wore keffiyehs as a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle against Zionist oppression. Others carried banners such as “Stop using my tax $$ to kill people,” “Healthcare workers for the people of Palestine,” and “Doctors against genocide.”

Healthcare workers march in San Francisco, California, October 28, 2023.

A young man from East Jerusalem told the WSWS, “The way to stop the violence is to give people their rights.”  He recounted his grandmothers’ stories of peaceful relations in Jerusalem between Jews and Palestinians before 1948.  

Protesters denounced the Biden administration for its leading role in the slaughter with the chant, “Biden, Biden you can’t hide. We charge you with genocide!”  Many protesters told WSWS reporters that they had previously voted for Biden, but would never again vote for someone who failed to support the freedom for the Palestinian people. 

Roya, a retired schoolteacher, said she would support actions by dockworkers to stop shipment of arms and materiel to Israel. “I was there at the docks during the Iraq War. And I will definitely join any march or support for the workers there who are going to walk out of their jobs wholeheartedly.”

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Hundreds protest in downtown Norfolk, Virginia: “It’s not about race or religion... It’s about money, capitalism”

Several hundred protesters gathered a third week in downtown Norfolk, Virginia—home of the largest naval base in the world and hub to the US Navy logistics command center for European and Central Command—to oppose the genocidal war in Gaza. WSWS reporters spoke to demonstrators about the need for a political strategy, perspective, and working class organization to stop the war.

One young protester spoke out about the effort to cast opposition to Zionism as “antisemitic.”

“We don’t have a problem with Jewish people,” he said. “I love Jewish people. I don’t have an issue with them. Israelis, you could argue we don’t have an issue with them. The issue is with Zionism, because Zionism is violent.”

“It’s all about money,” he added. “It’s not about race or religion at all. It’s about money. Capitalism, that’s what it’s about.”

Another protester explained, “Biden is supporting Israel financially and through military. It’s as simple as that.”

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Faisal, a 19-year-old Palestinian-American demonstrator, told the WSWS, “I want all the American people to know and remember the words that led to the creation of America. ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’

“That’s what Palestinians are going through every day. That’s what they say every day. They want their liberty; they want their freedom. That’s what this is about. They want their culture, their dignity, their history. For their martyrs, for their families that passed before.”

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Faisal added. “That’s what Palestinians want. They want equality, and they want peace.”

Up to 10,000 protest Israel’s genocide in Detroit

Between 7,000 and 10,000 people took part in a demonstration Saturday in Detroit’s Hart Plaza opposing Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Participants included people of all ethnicities, nationalities and religions, with many families and children in attendance.

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The crowd was boisterous and energetic, with cars passing down Detroit’s Jefferson Avenue honking in support. Chants at the demonstration included “Ceasefire now” and “Genocide Joe,” in reference to US President Joe Biden. Another prominent chant included “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”

Thousands at the pro-Palestine rally in Detroit, Michigan October 28, 2023.

These chants contrasted sharply with remarks from some of the speakers at the rally, who supported the Democratic party—the same political figures who are funding and enabling Israel’s “genocide” against the Palestinians. The speakers, including Palestinian-American comedian Amer Zahr, a supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders, were clearly thrown into crisis by the role of the Democrats in supporting Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians.

WSWS reporters spoke to a former American Express worker who was fired for supporting Palestine after he spoke out after the company CEO sent out a Zionist email declaring his opposition to “antisemitism” and the company’s support for the ongoing genocide.

The CEO’s letter, the worker explained, “did not mention anything about Palestine. And I felt that this was an injustice...I sent out messages saying ‘Free Palestine,’ I changed my name to ‘Free Palestine.’ I wrote about the different ways that we should, as workers, come together...and what [the company] did is suspend me and then they fired me after two days saying I was ‘insubordination,’ for not taking down the profile.”

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“I stand with Palestine. Israel is a racist state and Palestine will be free.”

Several speakers addressed the crowd, including Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace.

More than 2,000 protesters fill Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square to demand a halt to the genocide in Gaza

The group Toronto for Palestine organized a large demonstration Saturday called “Roar for women and children in Gaza” to denounce the ongoing Israeli military campaign.

Protesters outside Toronto City Hall

The demonstration began by paying tribute to the thousands who have been murdered by Israel with the financial, diplomatic, economic and military assistance of imperialism, including Canadian imperialism.

The demonstration organizers appealed to the Trudeau government to reverse its policies in Gaza, before marching down Bay Street where it occupied the intersection with King St., the heart of Canadian finance and banking.

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site distributed hundreds of leaflets which were warmly received.

Young people expressed a hunger for a political explanation of the crisis, why it was happening, and how it could be resolved. Several said that they already considered themselves socialists.

2,000-strong march in downtown Toronto, October 28, 2023

Emily made an eloquent statement, declaring, “All workers have the same struggle, all over the world, and I think we vastly outnumber everybody else. We outnumber the ruling classes, and there’s power in that, and if we could marshal that, if everybody could stand together, and work for the same things, there’s nothing that we can’t do.”

When asked how she would respond to the smears being spread by the capitalist press that demonstrations in support of the Palestinian struggle were “antisemitic,” Emily responded:

“I have a Masters Degree in in Judaic Studies. I study the Holocaust and Holocaust Museums, and I am very well-educated in genocide, and in the Holocaust specifically, and antisemitism and how the Holocaust happened. Being the victims of a genocide does not mean you get to commit a genocide on other people.

“If people cannot see, if people believe that a free [Israel] cannot exist without the subjugation and apartheid of other people who are not Jewish, then that tells you everything you need to know about Zionism, and nothing about Palestinians, or the Palestinian struggle. It is not antisemitic to protest apartheid. If Zionism cannot exist without the subjugation of other people, then it cannot exist. There is no right argument for Zionism.”

Over 1,000 protest in Washington, D.C. emergency rally, “Americans are good people, but they are lied to by the media and their government”

On Saturday in Washington D.C., nearly 1,000 protesters peacefully gathered in Lafayette Park across from White House. Emotions ran high with the crowd, which was composed of many people from all walks of life.

Hanna told the WSWS that she had come to the protest after having spent many days watching Israeli brutality on the television. “I can’t watch television anymore,” she said.

“Too many of us do nothing while these crimes happen. Americans are good people, but they are lied to by the media and their government,” she said. “I was asked to do an interview with a woman here that worked for NBC but I refused. I told her that her station lies about the conflict in Gaza. Do you know how many people with Muslim backgrounds that they have fired since the bombing started?”

Hanna held back tears as she recounted having broken down in public after having seen a man [in Gaza] on social media searching through rubble for his grandchild. “He kept crying out that he couldn’t breathe. I went to my yoga class and the instructor kept telling us ‘remember to breathe,’ and I just started crying,” she said. “It was just something that simple. He couldn’t breathe but we all could.”

Another protester said her friend was a nurse from Palestine working in the United States. She stated her friend was afraid of letting anyone know she was Palestinian because she feared public backlash or retribution from her employer.

Thousands of supporters of Jewish Voice for Peace occupy Grand Central Station in New York City to protest genocide in Gaza

On Friday evening, a mass action of civil disobedience by thousands of supporters of the organization Jewish Voice for Peace shut down Grand Central Station in Manhattan to protest the escalating genocide against Gaza. The NYPD arrested several of the protesters, but thousands then gathered outside.

Chants included, “Biden Biden you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The demonstration showed widespread pro-Palestinian sympathies among the public, including Jewish workers and youth, who packed the main floor of the terminal during rush hour.

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“This is an impending genocide,” another protester from South Africa said. “This is worse than apartheid, what’s happening now... I hope everything gets shut down. I hope we heed all the calls from the Palestinians [for strike action by workers]. I don’t see any other way we’ll stop the genocide that is happening.”

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“I’m an American Jew, and I can’t stand to see genocide committed in our name,” another protester said. She said that many Jews in the US and in Israel felt the same way. “Unfortunately our voices are smaller, and we are not given the same platform as Zionist Jews, and that’s why it’s incredibly important that we are here today and show up and show the world that not all Jews feel like Zionists do.”

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“Zionism is, and always has been, an antisemitic ideology,” another protester told the WSWS, adding, “We want to live in peace and security with Palestinians.”

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Full Report

A call to the working class and youth: Stop the imperialist-Zionist genocide in Gaza!

Israel, with the support of all the imperialist powers in the US-NATO axis, is carrying out a genocide in Gaza.

A genuine mass movement is developing in response to the war crimes being committed against the Palestinian people. Spontaneous protests erupted on Friday in the West Bank, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and other countries. In New York City, hundreds of members of Jewish Voice for Peace shut down Grand Central Station. This follows protests involving millions over the past week, and demonstrations are being held throughout the world this weekend.

A fraction of the 300,000 people who protested the Israeli war on Gaza in London, October 21, 2023.

This movement must be developed and expanded. The World Socialist Web Site, which is published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, calls for strikes and other protest actions by the working class in every country. We urge the organization of mass demonstrations in every city and emergency solidarity protests by college and high school students.

We call for the development of protests and demonstrations within Israel itself. Its soldiers, many of whom are reservists, should defy - as is required under international law - the criminal orders of the Netanyahu regime and the military general staff.

There is no time to lose. Action to stop the war must not be subordinated to the political maneuvers of capitalist governments, whose verbal protests against Israeli atrocities are aimed at deflecting and maintaining control over the emerging mass movement. Opposition to Israel’s crimes must be rooted in the international working class, using the powerful weapon of a general political strike in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Full Statement

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