Apr 29, 2002
The Saturday April 20 Call to Action in Washington DC started mid-morning and continued all day, with gatherings, rallies, and speeches, culminating in a march from the Washington Monument to the Capitol. As the hours went by, it appeared to gather at least 50,000 people. Similar smaller demonstrations took place in the weeks before and after, like the ones in Dearborn, Michigan and in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.
The protests were aimed against Israel's role in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the recent stepped up brutality in the Occupied Territories. They also focused on the U.S. government's unqualified support for Israel and U.S. aid that goes into making Israel's military machine one of the world's most modern and lethal. There were also many banners and speeches which supported the rights of Palestinians to have their own nation.
The largest contingent by far was people of Middle Eastern background, especially Palestinians. They were joined by other demonstrators as well.
It may not have been the largest demonstration in Washington, but it demonstrated that a significant number are ready to be counted, to make a statement that there are people in this country who oppose the U.S. government’s policies in the Middle East and support the struggle of the Palestinian people against the daily repression which is their lot.