Home Madison Largest rally yet to call for cease fire set for Saturday

Largest rally yet to call for cease fire set for Saturday

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Photo by Omar Waheed

Over 50 organizations convened by Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine (WCJP) will hold its “Wisconsin All Out For Palestine” rally at the state Capitol tomorrow to call for a cease fire in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. The rally will also highlight and call out Wisconsin businesses that have or continue to supply aid to Israel. Organizers expect it to be the largest such protest in Wisconsin to date. 

“Our diversity of speakers demonstrates widespread opposition to US policies toward Palestine and the whole region,” WCJP said in a press release. “Coalition convener Janan Najeeb joins speakers from co-founding organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, and Milwaukee Muslim Women Coalition, as well as representatives from Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ+, Labor, and other BIPOC and workers’ communities.”

Among the protesters’ demands: a permanent ceasefire and lifting of the siege in Gaza, ending all US aid to Israel, ending Israeli occupation of Palestine, freeing all political prisoners in Israeli prisons and reparations for Gaza and its reconstruction.

The rally also demands the end of criminalization of speech in support of Palestine.

“The events of October 7, 2023, did not happen in a vacuum. They were the result of decades of brutal oppression, starvation, surveillance, imposed poverty, mass incarceration, and frequent bombardment. Resistance to oppression is not terrorism,” WCJP said.

Labor and Wisconsin’s support of Israel with its businesses will be highlighted at the protest. In 2022, Wisconsin exported more than $127 million worth of manufacturing goods to Israel and over $2 billion since 1996. Wisconsin ranks 23rd among U.S. states in exports to Israel, according to the American-Israel Cooperative Enterprise (AICE).

The AICE was established as a nonprofit organization to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations. Its Jewish Virtual Library documents instances of policy between the U.S. and Israel.

Wisconsin is one of 33 states with cooperative agreements with Israel. In 2009, former Gov. Jim Doyle and former Israel Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Benjamin Ben-Elizer, signed a memorandum for bilateral cooperative trade agreements to strengthen relationships.

“They’ll be stopping at the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Building on East Washington Avenue,” said the host of We Rise Fighting, a labor podcast that is helping facilitate information for the rally. “Because they have members, corporations, and also banks that either make products or finance what’s happening in Palestine via Israel in the US.”

Wisconsin All Out For Palestine will be held Saturday Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. The rally will meet on the State Street side of the Capitol building.