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Dozens of community members protest for Palestine in Cleveland

Traffic was stopped near the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Friday, as a Pro-Palestinian march called for a permanent ceasefire to the Israeli-Hamas war and for city representatives to speak on the issue.

“Since October, we’ve been having almost weekly protests to try and get not just our community as Palestinians but the Greater Cleveland area engaged on what is going on in Palestine,” said Chance Zurub, an organizer from the Cleveland Palestine Advocacy Community. “There is an ongoing genocide, an ongoing Israeli bombardment of Palestinians which has led to the death of 30,000 Palestinians.”

The Cleveland Palestine Advocacy Community and the Cleveland Branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation ran the protest.

Demonstrators march up Ontario St. from Cleveland’s Public Square towards the Cuyahoga County Courthouse calling for the passage of a ceasefire resolution on Jan. 26, 2024. (Cadie Pierce)

The conflict between Palestine and Israel dates back to 1945, according to the Council of Foreign Relations. When Jewish groups migrated from Europe to Palestine after World War II ended, this caused a fight for land that ended with Israel taking the majority of the Palestinian land. 

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas, a Palestinian militant group which has been labeled as a terrorist group by the United States Secretary of State, launched attacks against Israelis. This resulted in the death of 1,200 Israelis. Israel then declared war on Hamas.  

Hamas has control over the Palestinian land of Gaza, and when Israel’s forces retaliated against Hamas, they in turn attacked Palestinian civilians in the area. This fighting has taken the lives of more than 26,000 Palestinians since Oct. 7, 2023, which was one of the main reasons for the march.

Though there was a temporary ceasefire in November, protesters are calling for a permanent one instead.

Of the many signs at the ceasefire protest on Jan. 26, 2024, a demonstrator raises one calling for the U.S. to end aid to Israel. (Cadie Pierce)

“We have been deeply affected,” organizer Jenna Muhieddine said. “All of us had family there, have family there right now and it’s currently killing our families. Our administration and our colleges should be representing us. So we must continue to make our voices heard.”

David Shutain, a Jewish man and Cleveland native, said he was at the event to spread awareness. He said he believes in the liberation of both the Jewish and Palestinian people.

“I have a lot of Palestinian friends that live in Eastern Jerusalem,” Shutain said. “And my friends, dear friends of mine are being ethnically cleansed from their homes, forced through home demolition school demolitions through settler violence, and it has only gotten worse since Oct. 7, escalated tremendously.”

During the event, around fifty protesters waved Palestinian flags around and chanted phrases such as “Ceasefire now” and “Not our pennies, not our dimes.” The latter refers to a $14.3 billion request from President Biden in October, in which he asked Congress for aid to Israel.

Muhieddine called for people to boycott businesses that support Israel and to donate money to the Palestine Children Relief Fund, which help injured children in Palestine. 

“You can show up to events like this,” Muhieddine said. “You can protest but the number one thing is to educate, because a lot of people didn’t know what Palestine was. They thought Israel was a country and it was totally normal.”

Destiny Torres is a reporter. Contact them at [email protected]

Alexandria Radde is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected].


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About the Contributors
Destiny Torres, Opinion Writer
Destiny is an opinion writer who is majoring in journalism with a minor in creative writing. She enjoys writing about things she's most passionate about. Contact her at [email protected].
Cadie Pierce, Photographer
Cadie Pierce (she/they) is a Senior Integrative Studies major and Photojournalism minor and staff photographer for KentWired/Kent Stater. Cadie can be reached at [email protected].

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