Why We Stand With Gaza

All photos (by Robin Farrin) are actually from October 19 in Brunswick as no one took photos yesterday. But these are our signs and banners.

Why do we stand up for Gaza? Because we hate funding genocide with U.S. “aid” to Israel (really credit to buy more U.S.-made weapons). We don’t accept Israel bombing a concentration camp where Palestinians are trapped, unable to escape.  

But why do we stand out in public? Wouldn’t occupying the nearest congressional office be more to the point? (As if any of my state’s congressional delegation, whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent aren’t beholden to the Israel lobby.) 

Yesterday I pulled together a hasty demo for Gaza at 5pm in Brunswick, Maine. (The demo I had planned to attend Saturday in Lewiston was cancelled because of the mass shooting event there earlier in the week.) 

Thus I found myself standing with my husband and three of our friends with signs and banners supporting Gaza and demanding an end to the accelerating genocide.

Motorists passing by often honked, waved, or flashed us the peace sign.

Toward the end of our hour we were approached by a handsome college student who said, “My name is Hussein and I am Gazan. I want to thank you for being here.” He went on to say he was in town for family weekend at nearby Bowdoin College and that his host family had seen us while driving by and had called him.

Asked about his family in Gaza he said, “I haven’t heard from them in three days. I don’t know whether they are dead or injured or alive.”

Another student, this one from Bowdoin, soon came by and began calling friends to try and draw some students out. They told one of us they were encouraged to see some old folks standing for Gaza.  Other passersby stopped to chat and soon our group was up to eight.

Hussein made his way down the line introducing himself and thanking everyone personally. He apologized for needing to go and we saw him a few minutes later waving from the backseat of a car with out-of-state license plates. 

If we only reached a few people yesterday with our messages, I’m grateful that Hussein was one of them.

We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and especially with Gaza as it endured its second night of darkness, no internet, and horrific bombing. The videos of the injured and terrified screaming in the darkness may be found on social media but I’ll never be able to sleep again if I spend too much time witnessing.

World wars always kick off with a genocide, don’t they? To name just a few, Armenians slaughtered by the Ottoman Empire just prior to WWI; Chinese in Nanking slaughtered and tortured by the Japanese Imperial Army. Now the massacre of 7,000+ Gazans plus a second Nakba complete with pogroms underway in the occupied West Bank does not bode well.

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