Pro-Palestinian protesters in Milwaukee call for Gaza ceasefire

Vow to defeat Biden

President Joe Biden arrives at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. President Biden will deliver remarks Wednesday at the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce centering on how his economic policies have led to recent business growth in underrepresented communities. (Mike De Sisti / The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Pro-Palestinian protesters assembled near the site of President Joe Biden’s visit to Milwaukee Wednesday and demanded that the United States support a ceasefire in Gaza to end the Israel-Hamas conflict.

And they vowed to take their case to the ballot box in next year’s presidential election to work to defeat the president.

The protest was organized by the Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine, which represents more than 60 organizations.

“What is happening in Gaza is genocide and he is complicit with that genocide, so he has blood on his hands,” attorney Munjed Ahmad said. “We still expect him to call for a ceasefire and not have the U.S. stand alone on the wrong side of history.”

People protest outside the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce as President Joe Biden speaks inside on Wednesday in Milwaukee.
People protest outside the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce as President Joe Biden speaks inside on Wednesday in Milwaukee. (Jovanny Hernandez / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Ahmad noted that Wisconsin is a swing state that Biden narrowly won over former President Donald Trump in 2020.

More

“He won Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes only,” Ahmad said. “We are a voting bloc that is way more than 20,000. He will not win Wisconsin without our votes. And at this point, he doesn’t have them. It is our intention to abandon him because of his complicity with the genocide.”

Later, during a news conference at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee Community Center, speakers criticized the president over the Israel-Hamas war.

The group said the goal of an effort called “Abandon Biden” is to guarantee the president’s loss, with campaigns launched by Muslim community leaders in Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

Attorney and activist Othman Atta at a news conference at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee Community Center announcing an effort to "Abandon Biden" in Wisconsin.
Attorney and activist Othman Atta at a news conference at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee Community Center announcing an effort to "Abandon Biden" in Wisconsin. (Bill Glauber)

Othman Atta, an attorney and activist, said the situation in Gaza is “a humanitarian catastrophe.”

“We’re giving a very clear signal to the Democratic Party, if you continue to support Joe Biden as the presidential candidate and he continues to support the Israeli onslaught against Gaza, we will not support him,” Atta said. “We will abandon him.”