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A week of solidarity with Palestine

Two reports from the front

Tempest members David Whitehouse and Paul Fleckenstein attended significant demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians seeking an end to Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza.

San Francisco, CA, November 4–David Whitehouse

On November 4, in conjunction with mass rallies for Palestine in Washington, D.C. and cities around the world, about 8 thousand people rallied and marched in San Francisco. A multi-racial and intergenerational crowd gathered on the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza. The long list of speakers included Black, Palestinian, and other activists.

Burlington, VT, November 9, 2023–Paul Fleckenstein

Two hundred fifty protesters surrounded a fundraiser for Rep. Becca Balint (D) demanding a ceasefire and an end to U.S. support for Israel.

This was the second action initiated by the anti-Zionist organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) targeting Vermont’s Congressional delegation. Tempest has reported on two other actions targeting elected representatives, Jimmy Gomez (D) and Vice President Kamala Harris in Los Angeles.

The Burlington protest started with a rally at City Hall endorsed by a dozen other groups, including Students for Justice in Palestine, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine and Tempest. Protesters then marched two blocks to a bar where donors paying up to $1000 (visible through the windows) sipped cocktails with Balint.

While hundreds chanted “Cease Fire Now,” “No More Money for Israel’s Crimes,” and “Becca, Becca, You Can’t Hide, We Charge you with Genocide,” several members of JVP inside interrupted the event and read a statement. Invoking shared progressive politics, they called on Balint, the first LGBTQ representative to Congress from Vermont, to support an immediate ceasefire.

Balint cut off the JVP speaker when they started to read the names of children killed in Gaza and then explained the ostensible harm of calling for a ceasefire. Balint fully defended the Biden Administration’s support for the Israeli attack on Gaza and said Hamas would never agree to a ceasefire. It should be noted that Hamas has negotiated previous ceasefires with Israel.

Balint concluded, sharing a position with Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders (I) and Peter Welch (D), that Hamas and the Palestinian resistance to Israel must be destroyed to end the violence. Posturing for a ceasefire would harm this effort. Balint reiterated her commitment to a two-state solution—a “solution” imposed on Palestinians that would preserve Israel as an apartheid state and confine Palestinians to a fraction of their land.

Her supporters cheered her response.

JVP members were able to get an agreement for a future meeting with Balint.

As her donors exited the bar through a mass of signs and banners calling for justice in Palestine, the crowd shouted “Shame, Shame, Shame.”

A group of people marches down a winter street behind a banner reading Palestine will be free.
Photo by Paul Fleckenstein.


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David Whitehouse and Paul Fleckenstein View All

David Whitehouse is a member of the Tempest Collective in Oakland. Some of his
writings appear at Works in Theory.

Paul Fleckenstein is a member of the Tempest Collective in Burlington, Vermont.