May 15 at Westlake Center, a rally was organized to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestine, in light of the recent murder of Palestinian-American Journalist Shereen Abu Aqleh, and to call for an end to United States relations with Israel.
The “Nakba 74” rally was organized by Falastinyat, a Palestinian collective based in Seattle. The word ‘Nakba’ means ‘disaster’ or ‘catastrophe’. It refers to the disruption and destruction of Palestian society in 1948.
“These war crimes against journalists are not new. Since 2000, Israel has murdered almost 15 Palestinian journalists in cold blood,” Ranna Harb, co-founder of Falastiniyat, spoke as the crowd echoed with boos. She spoke of Israeli police forces’ use of violence against mourners during Aqleh’s funeral, and of how “the aparthied state of Israel aims to erase [Palestinians], no matter the context.”
The crowd chants, “Long Live the Intifada,” referencing the Palestinian uprising and resistance against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip that formally began in 1987. A drum beats as Aisha Mansour, co-founder of Falastiniyat, speaks a message of hope: “A new day is coming for Palestine. A new day will come when Palestian martyrs can be buried in the village of their grandparents.”
Victoria Winter is trying to prove that nothing human is alien to us. On paper, she is a second year student at Seattle Central College, potentially majoring in anthropology and philosophy. In reality, she is fascinated by using the mediums of photojournalism and writing to explore subcultures - the fringes, the limelight, and everything in between. She is in love with humans. Her only firm beliefs are that everything should be explored and most things are easier at night.