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Protesters call for Gaza ceasefire in Capitol rally


About 300 Madison residents converged on the Wisconsin State Capitol last week to put pressure on state legislators to push for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The turnout was around three times larger from the last effort on Oct. 25 with 100 students from UW-Madison walking out from classes in the afternoon.

“I’m glad to see so many people here supporting Palestine and showing that they care for this idea of calling for a ceasefire,” said Shafis, one of the protest’s organizers. “I’m glad to see that there is support for that in Madison, and we’ve seen that and I’m glad that it’s continuing and it’s not just kind of something that’s dissipating as things often do.”

Photos by Omar Waheed.

The most recent protest drew attention to specific politicians. Protestors chanted against Senator Tammy Baldwin over sources of funding being tied with Israeli lobbyists and lack of action to call for a ceasefire. Baldwin has received $422,990 in lobbying funds from pro-Israeli organizations, according to WisPolitics.

Protestors also chanted against voting for President Joe Biden for the coming 2024 presidential election over lack of action to push for a ceasefire and continuous aid towards Israel.

Outlines of bodies were also drawn in chalk all over the Capitol’s grounds. The goal was to attempt to show just how many have been killed in the ongoing conflict. Protestors could not draw outlines for all 10,000 in the current death toll — which was the point.

“We’re trying to kind of give a physical interpretation, because a lot of times you see these numbers and honestly, to people, I think that’s kind of becoming meaningless. It diminishes us down to stats,” Shafiq said. “I think it’s important to show that these are human beings, that all these numbers that you see are somebody’s family member.”