Summary: The October 21 rally and march drew thousands in downtown Los Angeles — Editors
Once again, men, women, and children from Los Angeles and the surrounding area were so moved by the ongoing genocide and displacement of the Palestinians in Gaza that they took to the streets to denounce Israel’s war crimes. As tensions continue to mount, the people both here and around the world continue to resist the notion that a critique of the Zionist state of Israel is anti-Semitic and refuse to remain complacent.
Israel has not yet launched the ground invasion of Gaza they maintain they will, likely due to both logistic difficulties of controlling the territory and perhaps in part due to the massive popular movement in nations around the globe denouncing their actions. Despite not having put troops on the ground, the Israeli government continues to bomb Gaza, killing and injuring civilians daily, all the while claiming they are only targeting Hamas. But this line of reasoning is clearly illogical. How could condemning an entire region of over 2 million people to live without water or electricity simply be part of a targeted effort to root out a terrorist cell?
Questions such as this are exactly what organizers and participants in the rally at Pershing Square on October 22, 2023, called out as illustrative of a more nefarious desire to root out the Palestinian people. Speakers noted how Israel has bombed schools and hospitals and was engaging in the collective punishment of millions. They talked about how Israeli rhetoric about Palestinians has likened them to animals. They condemned the actions of the U.S. imperialist regime and its support for the Israeli occupation and bombing campaigns. Yet, as I looked around amidst the heinous list of crimes committed by Israel that was being listed, I was encouraged by the solidarity and support of the people standing beside me for the Palestinians.
Unlike Israel, which must rely on AI-generated propaganda and paid ads on X or Twitter, as many as 10,000 people were reported to have attended Saturday’s demonstration. There is no need for the media to manufacture consent in support of the liberation of Palestine as they do with Israel. No, people across the United States and the world are beginning to catch up to those in the Global South who have long supported the Palestinian people.
This rally, just like the one last week, was peaceful and highly organized. A large coalition was responsible for providing snacks and water, shepherding demonstrators on the street once the marching began, and distributing leaflets on the topic. Again, socialist organizations such as our own were present, and from our own experience engaging with people who attend I can say this issue is radicalizing the young and old alike to the contradictions of capitalism – perhaps the foremost being the hypocrisy of how bourgeois democracies such as the U.S. or Israel can claim to champion human rights while churches and mosques burn, or innocents are killed. Unfortunately, this most recent wave of expropriation of the Palestinians from their land is an old crime that the state of Israel has long committed, and it is a key element seen over a long period in the development of capitalism.
Nonetheless, Palestine will be free.