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Solidarity with Palestine rally held at Westlake Center

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Just one day after it was reported that the Biden Administration approved the sale of $735 million in missile guided weapons to Israel, a Seattle rally was held to protest the Israeli occupation and deadly force toward the people of Palestine.  

Jordan Somers | The Seattle Collegian A group of protestors march down 5th avenue holding signs, chanting for Palestine’s liberation and calling for the end of the Israeli occupation

The event was organized by @Falastiniyat, a Palestinian feminist grassroots organization based out of Seattle, with the mission to advocate for gender justice and to decry colonialism.  A vast array of speakers were in attendance, including Nikkita Oliver and Kshama Sawant, as well as spokespersons from the Seattle People’s Party and the International Women’s Alliance.

Jordan Somers A protestor waves the flag under the Seattle monorail tracks as the march makes its way through downtown Seattle
Jordan Somers Kshama Sawant, who has served with the Seattle City council since 2014, gives an impassioned speech calling for the end of the Israeli occupation
Jordan Somers Political activist and mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver, along with many other community leaders, show their support and solidarity with Palestine

Hundreds of local residents attended the event to support the cause, calling for an end to Israel’s continued colonial expansion and a stop to the decimation of Gaza. Protestors also expressed their condemnation of the Biden Administration, which continues to block UN statements that call for a ceasefire.

Jordan Somers A protestor holds a “Free Palestine” sign during the march through downtown Seattle
Jordan Somers A group of protestors pose outside of the Westlake Center mall during the Solidarity With Palestine rally
Jordan Somers A protestor stands in front of the main stage at the Westlake Center during one of the rally’s speeches

Tensions have mounted between the two countries since Israel was declared a state in 1948, eventually giving rise to Hamas in 1987, a Palestinian Islamist fundamentalist organization dedicated to liberating Palestine from Israeli occupation.  Since 2008, ongoing Israeli expansion and war between Hamas and the Israeli government has resulted in the deaths of nearly 6,000 Palestinians and 251 Israelis.

Jordan Somers A protestor holds a sign referencing a 1997 quote from Nelson Mandela, who spoke of his support of the Palestinian people
Jordan Somers A protestor holds an “End Israeli Apartheid” sign during the downtown march
Jordan Somers Protestors begin their march down 4th avenue shortly after adjourning the rally at Westlake Park

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been leading the offensive against Gaza, including the recent unlawful takeover of Sheikh Jarrah, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, with no signs of slowing down.  Over 200 Palestinians, including 59 children, have been killed in the last week

Jordan Somers Protesters brandished a variety of signs and flags, criticizing the Israeli government’s actions and the Biden Administration’s continued support
Jordan Somers A young boy looks toward another protestor who holds a drum near the front of the stage at Westlake Park
Jordan Somers Protestors from all walks of life attended the rally and march to show their support and solidarity with Palestinian

Jordan Somers is currently in his second year of Visual Media at Seattle Central College. He specializes in photojournalism and documentary work, with a particular emphasis on social movements happening throughout the city. His 2020 documentary, Hope is Not Cancelled, was an official selection at the Local Sightings Film Festival, and won an award for best editing at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival. Jordan is an avid traveler when granted the opportunity, and has a keen interest in psychology and existential philosophy.

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