Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Boston Stands for Gaza

I spent a good part of yesterday outside in the Boston cold (it was the invigorating type, not the bone-chilling kind, not that I would have noticed if it had been the latter). A rally march in solidarity with Gaza and Palestine was planned for noon; I arrived at 11:30, and at that point there were already 25-50 people. A group of Neturei Karta were nearby, holding signs, and the International Socialist Organization had a table set up.

We moved to the sidewalk in front of Trinity Church at Copley Square. Crowds began to gather…some were obviously coming with intent, others because they saw the flag, identified. A truck was parked next to us on the street, adorned with Palestinian flags and a banner. Someone rose to speak. A group of young girls sang “This Little Light of Mine.”

The crowd was diverse.  Arabs, Jews, and the rest of us stood in solidarity.

And then we moved.

As we walked down Boylston Street, I couldn’t help but notice how good the Palestinian flag looked with Boston as its backdrop.

The signs were as diverse as the people.

At one point a small altercation broke out, but it was quickly quelled.  Later, as some Muslims in the crowd quietly stepped aside to pray Asr, one leader of the group took it upon himself to yell “Allah Akbar.”  A Muslimah near me, sensing the rift his words might cause, picked up her megaphone and shouted even louder: “Hey hey ho ho, aid to Israel’s gotta go!”  The crowd quickly joined in and drowned out the polarizing cries.

The setting of the sun and the resulting drop in temperature did little to derail anyone.  As we marched back up to Copley, we were still nearly 1,000 strong.  The police seemed almost relaxed as they walked alongside us on the sidewalk.  As the group dissipated, people made plans to continue.

I carried just one sign, around my neck, as I was taking photos and needed my hands free.  I carried the name of Azmi Abu Dalal, one of the first 187 victims of Israel’s war crimes.

We will continue.  Gaza will remain strong.


Dennis Fox also covered the rally on his blog, and NECN gave excellent television coverage.  You can also check out the rest of my photos here.

6 Comments

  1. Thank you for the story and photos, Jill. I am not well-versed in history and politics, but the thought that keeps recurring for me right now is that we are all people, and by nature, we generally want the same things. We want a safe place to live, and to get up in the morning and go to work, and come home and eat, and to love our family and friends, and have a little fun when we can. We want to practice our religions or lack thereof and speak our minds respectfully and peacefully.
    But right now, there are too many countries in the world where people cannot do any of these things. While heads of state negotiate and posture, and while weapons are bought and sold, the lives of ordinary people, people just like me, are postponed indefinitely. Their simple dreams or great aspirations are shelved, and children lose their childhoods. Imagine the possibility if all the money that is spent on buying arms to further this conflict were spent on education or social programs in these countries – the possibilities blow my mind.
    What happens in other countries affects us all. It’s only by an accident of birth that I am spending tonight grumbling about shovelling snow here in Canada, instead of trying to make sense of total chaos to my children, or worrying about whether I will live to see tomorrow. Your photos showed a collective wish for peace – regardless of faith. So powerful – I hope the powers that be are listening.

  2. Stuff like this seldom happens in Houston. Well I’m glad you went!

  3. @ Writing For Crows: Not sure if you’ll ever see this comment, but just in case: I’m from Houston, and there have been several demos for Gaza in the last week or so. The Houston Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (HCJPP) has been organizing them, and I’ve heard they will continue. Check out houston.indymedia.org for more info.

  4. You know how beautiful you all look like?
    I felt shivers down my spine reading your great account and watching your photos.
    All the power to you!
    Justice for Palestine!

  5. Great article, Jill. The photos too were good shots. There should be justice for Palestine.

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