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.