Charlotte, NC: Over 500 Rally & March to Free Gaza

David Dixon, Action Center For Justice, Jan. 5, 2009

Photo by Henk Jonker.

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This past Saturday, January 3, more than 500 people gathered in downtown Charlotte's Marshall Park for a rally calling for an end to Israel's blockade, attacks & invasion of the Gaza Strip, Palestine. The rally was followed by a march where protesters, with Palestinian & Muslim youth at the forefront, took over downtown Charlotte with a sea of Palestinian flags & energetic chants. When the march crossed the street & did a u-turn heading for a street rally at "The Square", over three blocks were filled on both sides of the street with demonstrators.

Echoing throughout the downtown area were chants of "Free, Free Gaza," "Free, Free Palestine," "Occupation Is a Crime," "Shame, Shame Israel," "Stop Killing Children", "Stop The Killing, Stop The War," "Stop Supporting Israel," "Money For Jobs & Education, Not Israeli Occupation" and others. Signs expressed the same sentiments, many including pictures of the terrible suffering being inflicted upon the Palestinians in Gaza, particularly upon the children.

The rally at Marshall Park was kicked off by Mohammad Banawan with the Muslim American Society Charlotte and mc'ed by David Dixon, the coordinator of Action Center For Justice.

Speakers included:

Imam Khalil Akbar – Masjid Ash-Shaheed
Dr. Mohammed El-Nawawy – Published Professor of Communications and Media Expert
Edith Garwood – Volunteer with Amnesty International
Khalid Hijazi – Charlotte Al-Awda, Palestine Right To Return Coalition
Brother Minister Yusuf Muhammad, Nation Of Islam
Ibrahim Khader – Student from local university
Kareem Abdelnabi – Student form local university
Jibril Hough – Spokesperson of Islamic Center of Charlotte
Rafat Khader – President of Muslim American Society of Charlotte

Public support for the demonstration was overwhelmingly positive with car horns blaring and cheers and waves of support.

A small vigil held New Year's Day at 7th St & Pecan Ave in Charlotte got the same kind of public support. Almost every vehicle honked or waved in response to a "Honk for Peace In Gaza" sign. Even some young people going by on bikes repeatedly said, "Honk, honk, honk..."

More actions in support of the heroic people of Gaza are planned for Charlotte this week including a Jan. 7 Vigil; a Jan 9 press Conference in front of rep. Sue Myrick's office; on Jan. 10 a Mass Rally & March; and organizing transportation to a National Emergency March On Washington taking place Jan. 10 as well. For more information about these events see or call 704-492-5226.

1 comment:

  1. While many may elect to dismiss the conflagration in Gaza as the continuation of a conflict whose origins go back to Biblical days, there are those whose knowledge of history positions them to dismiss the zero-sum religious argument for a political one that tells of a people willing to fight for the right to hold the reins to their own destiny. Somehow the fortitude associated with the rallying cry “give me liberty or give me death!” from America’s fight for independence rings hollow when identical lament comes from the sequestered people of Gaza.