Monday, July 21, 2014

Peace Demonstration for Gaza

There was no "business as usual" on Wilshire Boulevard near the Federal Building in West Los Angeles this afternoon.  
Women demonstrating for peace: "Keep calm and pray for Gaza."

Instead traffic was stopped and cars could not exit the 405 freeway as over a thousand people protested Israeli bombings of civilians in Gaza.  I was glad that many lives were interrupted; people had to think about Israel and Palestine.

Tell me why, tell me why,
Gaza children have to die.

Palestine will be free
From the river to the sea.

Gaza, Gaza, don't you cry.
No more children have to die.

Being there, listening to these chants, I was often moved to tears.  This event did not have a party atmosphere.

I marched in protest against the bombing of the four little boys playing on the Gaza beach last Wednesday.
The violence began with three Israeli teens killed in June.

Someone in an Israeli ship off the coast had noticed movement and fired the missiles.  That's not war; it's murder.

The little guys weren't supposed to be outside, but after nine days indoors, they had managed to slip out of the house.

There were many mothers and children at the rally, including some veiled women.  Some men wore Palestinian headgear.  

Double-decker red tour buses were among those caught in the traffic.  Tourists in the open-air top deck looked out at the demonstration.   They had expected to see just beaches, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and maybe a few movie stars. 

"Welcome to LA," commented one woman.  

I'm grateful to be in a metropolitan area with lots of Israelis and Palestinians and others who care deeply about the war happening there these past ten days.  I want my life to pause over these deaths.

Then the marchers went to the Consulate General of Israel in LA, on Wilshire near Barrington.

Meanwhile in another part of Los Angeles, a family was mourning loss of their son, Max Steinberg, who had moved to Israel and joined the Army there.

All this waste of human life in Palestine and Israel, and then the downing of the airliner over the Ukraine on Thursday, is enough to turn anyone into a pacifist.

What can any one person do?  

I got some ideas today:
1) Contact my representatives in Congress and ask them to stop giving weapons and money to Israel.
2) Join an organization of women for peace, such as
3) Start identifying as a transnational feminist.
4) Attend more antiwar demonstrations.
5) Get more practice in speaking other languages.  Learn Arabic???
6) Do more international travel and stay in touch with friends around the world.

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