By Brian Martel
On March 30, Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), a student organization at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), held a protest at the Texas capitol in commemoration of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation.
Land Day is an international holiday commemorating the events of March 30, 1976. In response to the Israeli state announcing it would seize large amounts of Palestinian land, Palestinians organized a general strike and mass protests. The Israeli army killed six protesters and wounded and arrested hundreds in retaliation.
The objective of the protest was to educate people on the history of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli settlement, demanding first and foremost an end to the occupation.
Every year, pro-Israel students and members and supporters of the Israel Defense Force host an ‘Israeli Block Party’ event at UT, while PSC promotes Israeli Apartheid Week in protest of this event. This year, the Israeli Block Party was canceled, so PSC held a protest at the capitol.
Activists drummed and sang Palestinian songs, some dancing in celebration of Palestinian culture. Many attendees were Palestinian, and some spoke of experiences in their home country. One activist with PSC described the beauty of Gaza, which has been under siege by the IDF for over 15 years, and contrasted it with the constant surveillance and attacks from the Israeli military.
Speakers explained the relationship between US imperialism and Israel. “Israel is almost like a gateway for the US to be involved in the middle east […] but ultimately its economic exploitation,” one activist said. Protesters demanded the US stop funding Israel and its military operations, and called attention to the international campaign to support Palestine.
After speeches were given, activists marched to Interstate 35 and hung a banner from an overpass reading “Palestinian Land Day, We Will Return!” alongside a Palestinian flag.
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