Not Another Nickel, Not Another Dime: Why We March for Palestine

Protestors walk past Parcel 5 and "I heart ROC" sign holding Palestinian flags and signs.

by Gregory Lebens-Higgins

Agitate!
Agitate!
Agitate!
– Frederick Douglass

A Palestinian flag and marchers in front of Innovation Square (formerly Xerox Tower).

On Saturday, Rochester DSA and allies continued to mobilize against the ongoing genocide of Palestinians and their unjust occupation. Over 200 people gathered to march through the streets to #ShutItDown4Palestine. As the extent of Israel’s horrific destruction of Gaza becomes increasingly clear, our rallies have only grown, and the momentum continues.

The march sought to keep attention on the ongoing suffering of Palestinians, to call out U.S. complicity in genocide, and to continue building solidarity among those organizing for change. We must not look away while Palestinians are trapped under rubble and ensnared by occupation.

The U.S. is directly implicated in the genocide of Palestinians by providing bombs and moral support. Locally, our leaders are complicit by their silence. The Monroe County Legislature declares that calls for #ceasefireNOW are “threatening and alarming,” while ignoring the threat presented by the dehumanization of Palestinians in their own community. The march passed by the County Office Building to remind them of their obligation to help stop the violence.

The march also passed by the Public Safety Building, where, in the wake of Daniel Prude’s murder at the hands of police, protestors were assaulted with pepper balls and teargas. Speakers addressed the ties between Israel’s occupation and U.S. police: Techniques and technology refined in the Occupied Territories are employed by American law enforcement.

Another stop was by the studios of WHEC-TV, to highlight the biased and inflammatory news coverage that has been used to justify the ongoing genocide and to vilify protestors.

Frederick Douglass’s connections to Rochester have left a rich legacy of abolition. We must call upon this legacy to expand liberation to Palestinians resisting occupation, and against the interconnected structures of oppression here at home. We will succeed by organizing as a mass movement out of the solidarity forged at these protests.

Marchers stop in front of the Monroe County Office Building.
Members of Rochester DSA pose for a photograph following the event.
Mural with Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. Douglass's quote is visible, "Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!"

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