As Israel continues its fourth week of intense bombardment of the besieged Gaza strip, huge crowds of protesters have gathered to call for a ceasefire in Washington, D.C. as well as in other capital cities around the globe.
Saturday’s turnout is a continuation of protests that have emerged across the world in response to Israel’s intense retaliation for the October 7th Hamas terror attacks, which killed more than 1,400 people, including civilians and soldiers.
The nonstop Israeli bombardment has killed almost 10,000 people in Gaza, many of them civilians and a large portion of them children. Israeli airstrikes have targeted hospitals, schools, refugee camps, and ambulances, sparking outrage from the international community and warnings from rights groups that the strikes may constitute war crimes.
A livestream showed crowds almost filling Freedom Plaza, located nearby the National Mall and White House. Organizers told CNN they expected tens of thousands to attend.
The protests are “a testament of just how much more support has grown around the Palestinian solidarity movement and that people really want to see change come,” said Iman Abid-Thompson, director of advocacy at the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, one of the groups organizing the Washington D.C. protest, in an interview with CNN.