Demonstrators gathered near the Ferry Building in San Francisco Saturday, some carrying signs in support of the All Out For Gaza rally.
“What we are calling for, immediately, is a cease-fire, to stop the violence,” said Wael Buhaissy.
For many there, the war between Israel and Hamas — and U.S. support for Israel — was deeply personal.
“We are here to urge our government, the Biden administration, the whole political establishment to stop this violence,” said Buhaissy. “I lost family members yesterday. I lost a first cousin, his son and his granddaughter in the Gaza Strip in an airstrike.”
Attendees drew attention to the plight of Palestinian people in Gaza.
On Friday, the Israeli military dropped leaflets over Gaza City, calling on residents to evacuate and head south. At the same time, Israel’s military has said it is preparing for a ground offensive.
“People have been ordered to flee from their land, have had their access to electricity, water, medical supplies cut off,” said Ariel Koren of Jewish Voice for Peace. “And while this is happening, bombs are raining down on them.”
The order and retaliation come after the deadly surprise attacks by Hamas militants on Israel last week.
In San Francisco, several thousand rallied and marched down Market Street Saturday.
“I feel like it’s our responsibility to come out,” said one attendee.
“We are calling for the immediate end to this bombardment, this massacre and what is amounting to a genocide of the people of Gaza,” said Mohamed Shehk with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.
The turnout Saturday was what organizers hoped for.
“This is truly a beautiful turnout in the midst of all this grief and suffering of our people back home,” said Shehk. “People here are impacted. They have family members that have been killed. But in the midst of all this, it really shows we are powerful, we come together.
Source: NBC Bay Area