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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

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Pro-Palestinian protests surge throughout Bay Area

As+the+wave+of+pro-Palestinian+protests+sweeps+through+the+Bay+Area%2C+it+encounters+resistance+and+sparks+impassioned+debates%2C+with+some+raising+concerns+of+antisemitism+amid+the+fervent+activism.
Parsa Hassanpour
As the wave of pro-Palestinian protests sweeps through the Bay Area, it encounters resistance and sparks impassioned debates, with some raising concerns of antisemitism amid the fervent activism.

More than two months since hostilities began in the Gaza Strip, pro-Palestinian protests contine throughout the Bay Area.

“[I’m here to] represent my community of Palestinians: to show the regional community that there are people who actually support Palestine. We’re not alone. It’s not just one person, one community. It’s a whole bunch of people all from across the world,” said Yousef Elshora (‘23)

On Friday, protestors gathered outside of San Francisco’s city hall to advocate for a permanent ceasefire and the cessation of American assistance to the Israeli Defense Forces. 

“It’s pretty embarrassing how [the United States is] funding Israel. They’re trying to hide the media about all the killings going on; they’re only showing the part that Israel is doing, but they’re not showing the part that we’re Palestinians,” said Palestinian immigrant Suhibe Rabah

The gathering was the first in San Francisco since the beginning of the four day ceasefire that has already seen the release of 17 Israeli hostages from Hamas-held Gaza. 

“Protests in and of themselves serve a function [to get] people agitated and politically mobilized to spread awareness and make it very clear where the people of the United States are,” said Party for Socialism and Liberation Outreach Captain Luna Osleger-Montanez

Following a round of speeches outside of the city hall, pro-Palestinian protestors marched on Union Square amid Black Friday sales. Similar protests continued across the Bay Area throughout the day, including demonstrations in San José’s Santana Row. 

“I have to show my solidarity with the people of Palestine, the oppressed people, to give morale first to the Palestinian people in Gaza, and second to let the politicians of the world know that there’s people here that don’t agree with their policies. People need to wake up and just see what’s really going on,” said Palestinian immigrant Ali Emad

Non-Palestinians also filled the ranks of San Francisco’s cheering crowd, with Native American and Filipino speakers featured, among others. 

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  • Passionate protester walk the Pleasanton streets chanting for a cease fire in Gaza.

  • Palestinian protestors took to the streets in Pleasanton trying to gather attention to their cause.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators spent the afternoon chanting calling for a cease fire in downtown Pleasanton.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators chant outside Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Pleasanton.

“I’m a Muslim. I’m a black man. They’re Muslims. They’re oppressed. The connection is clear. There’s a connection as a black man to Palestine, because our people are oppressed, and there’s a connection to Palestine as a Muslim,” said Oakland Islamic Community Center Amir Abdel-Malik Ali

Ali, though not present at the city hall protest on Friday, has organized protests in tandem with other organizations to raise awareness for Palestine. 

“When you see evil being committed, you change it with your hand. If you can’t change it with your hand, speak out against it, so this is a part of speaking out against injustice: jihad with the tongue,” said Ali

For protestors, the current ceasefire, though widely considered a step in the right direction, is insufficient in the face of conditions in Gaza. 

“Right now [my family is] in South Gaza. They can’t leave the house, because they’re scared. They don’t have access [to sanitation and water]; I think it’s only six hours of electricity right now. I’m worried; you never know what could happen at any time in Gaza,” said Rabah

The organizations involved plan to continue protests indefinitely.

“When it comes to something like Palestine we all need to be in the streets, shoulder to shoulder, standing together. Because at the end of the day, our small squabbles over different, specific details don’t really matter at this point. We need to work together to build a broad based movement against imperialism in all its forms,” said Osleger-Montanez.

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