Thousands protest Gaza war

Chris Kirk

Chanting “free, free, Palestine,” thousands gathered in Chicago on Friday to march on the Israeli Consulate in protest of Israel’s bombings in the Gaza Strip.

“We want to show the world that we don’t accept what’s going on in Gaza,” said rally organizer Awad Hamdan, who estimated the attendance to be near 10,000.

Israel started bombing Gaza on Dec. 27 in response to Hamas firing hundreds of rockets into southern Israel, which killed one Israeli citizen. The military followed their air assault with a ground invasion on Jan. 3. Authorities estimate that 13 Israelis and 879 Palestinians have been killed, 250 of which were children.

Friday’s march began at Daley Plaza, where, standing among leftover holiday decorations, several speakers rallied the crowd.

“We believe that the blood of the Palestinian child is not cheaper than the blood of an Israeli child,” said Zaher Sahloul, a councilman of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. “We believe that the tears of a Palestinian child are not cheaper than the tears of an Israeli child. We believe that the pain of a Palestinian child is not less than the pain of our children.”

The protesters carried a banner that read: “Occupation is the highest Form of Terrorism. End the Israeli Occupation Now. STOP Terrorism.” Hamdan, a member of American Muslims for Palestine, guided cheers from a pickup truck, his voice amplified.

“(The speakers) demanded something concrete and something feasible