CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Charlotte-area Palestinians held another demonstration at one of Uptown’s busiest intersections Friday to make sure they were really heard and seen.
They ended their protest at Romare Bearden Park, all the while chanting, “Free Palestine.”
“We’re just a collective of Palestinian Americans, people in Charlotte that are gathering, as well as people that are not of Palestinian descent,” explained one of the organizers Laith Shehadeh. “But Arab descent, some Jewish descent, some Christian allies and just people that are here to raise awareness.”
He and about 100 other Palestinians and supporters carried signs, waved flags and chanted as their response to the month-long conflict in Gaza between Hamas and Israel. Shehadeh says they’ve been working with local elected leaders to pass a resolution calling for a cease-fire.
“We’re feeling defeated, but we’re still motivated,” he said. “I mean, it’s tough because it’s impacted myself, and my friends. We have family in the West Bank and Gaza. We have friends. We’ve all lost someone.”
U.S. House lawmakers this week approved a nearly $14.5 billion military aid package for Israel.
“All of this while we also work to ensure responsible spending and reduce the size of the federal government to pay for that commitment to our friend and ally,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson.
“The senate will not take up the House GOP’s deeply flawed proposal, and instead we’ll work on our own bipartisan emergency aid package that includes aid to Israel, and Ukraine, competition with the Chinese government, and humanitarian aid for Gaza,” said New York Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is rejecting the White House call for a “humanitarian pause” in the war.
But the people at the Uptown protest Friday want more than just a pause.
During their protest, local Palestinians held bags covered in white cloth and red spots; they symbolize the mass death happening overseas.
President Joe Biden says he will veto the House bill despite it passing with overwhelming support.