Portland marches for Palestine

By Richard Anders

PORTLAND, Ore.--Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER) at Portland State University, along with many community groups, held a march and rally January 9 in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the assault on Gaza, and to celebrate returning students who participated in the recent Gaza Freedom March.

Approximately 150 people turned out at Pioneer Court House Square, where the march began. Marchers went to Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint outlets, chanting in support of a boycott of Motorola products prompted by the company's support of Israel through weapons technology.

Student activists Sarah Hassouneh, Jessica Cambell and Michael King shared their experiences participating in the Gaza Freedom March. Rosa Navarro described her time in Gaza last year directly after the assault.

Allison Weir of IfAmericansKnew.org and Peter Miller from Americans United for Palestinian Equal Rights gave moving overviews of the conditions endured by the Palestinian people and exposed the bias of the mainstream media's coverage of this issue.

Meredith Reese of the International Socialist Organization gave a scathing breakdown of the Democratic Party's ineffectiveness and the need to continue antiwar protests under the Obama administration. Wael Elasady echoed those remarks and encouraged everyone to fight U.S. imperialism in the Middle East and throughout the world.

Local poet Shady Athamneh recited some of his poetry, which expressed his experiences in Palestine and the hardships of the Palestinian people. In addition, a Bethlehem Theater presentation put on by local activists depicted the suffering caused by the walls that divide Palestinian people and the brutality of the Israeli imposed apartheid.

The finale of the event was a live performance by David Rovics, who sang songs about the need to resist oppression.