Chicago Demonstration Blocks Highway in Support of Gaza

Alireza Kia

Summary: Direct action to support Palestine on the streets of Chicago — Editors

On Saturday, November 18, several other Iranian activists and I participated in a pro-Palestinian demonstration against U.S. funding for Israeli genocide and an end to the siege on Gaza. About 12 to 15 thousand people joined the rally at Buckingham Fountain in the Chicago Loop.

We heard different slogans like “Free, Free Palestine,” “End Israel’s Occupation & Apartheid,” “Palestine Is a Feminist Issue,” “Stop U.S. Aid,” and “Resistance Against Occupation Is a Human Right.” A number of different speakers were heard in this gathering.

The police did not allow the organizers to march in the streets.  After two hours, the organizers called for us to sit in silence for twelve minutes to show respect for the 12,000 people who have been killed in Gaza.

Right after this, demonstrators breached the Lake Shore Drive gates and pushed their way through in order to block Lake Shore Drive, one of the major highways in the Chicago Loop. The police tried but were unable to stop the demonstrators.

Demonstrators shouted, “Whose street? Our street” as they held their ground. The police had to close a whole block on Lake Shore Drive. Thousands of demonstrators were there for hours. Fortunately, everything seemed to be handled correctly, and I did not witness any street arrests.


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