Thousands of pro-Palestine supporters have descended on the streets of Washington D.C. demanding a ceasefire, waving signs calling Biden a ‘child murderer’.
An estimated 30,000 protesters were expected to gather from 2pm at the city’s Freedom Plaza before marching on a loop past the White House.
The demonstrators are demanding an end to US military aid to Israel and the retaliatory strikes it has carried out on Gaza, which have been pounding the nation since the Hamas terror attack of October 7 which killed 1,400.
‘Now is the time to stand with the besieged people of Palestine! Gaza is being bombed by the hour. Its people are denied food, water and electricity by Israel. Tens of thousands more people are likely to die. We must ACT!’ a notice on the Answer Coalition website.
Around 30,000 pro-Palestine supporters have taken to the streets of Washington D.C.
Demonstrators gathered at Freedom Plaza on Saturday for the march, which was due to loop past the White House
Several of the attendees at the rally clutched provocative signs, including this one accusing President Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of child murder
The group said buses had been hired to transport pro-Palestine supporters to the event from across the US and its territories.
Images show hoards of protesters clutching Palestinian flags and signs accusing the US of enabling war crimes.
One placard bore a picture of Biden with blood soaked hands, which read: ‘Gaza has become a graveyard for children, with one killed every ten minutes.’
Shouts of ‘Free, free Palestine’ also rung out across the Plaza, which quickly became overcrowded.
Orthodox and other Jews were among those who lent their support to the protest, bearing banners which read: ‘Judaism condemns Zionist terrorism in Gaza’.
There were nine Palestinian organizations listed as co-sponsors on the event, which had endorsements from a further 443 groups including from anti-war coalitions, environmentalists as well as Christian and other religious groups.
The Washington march comes as similar protests took place across the country including in New York, Seattle and San Francisco as well as smaller cities like Orono, Maine.
In the Big Apple, ‘busloads’ of protesters gathered at Herald Square in solidarity with the D.C. march.
The Washington D.C. protest took place at the same time others were unfolding across the US and the world
The protesters gathered to demand a ceasefire and an end to US military aid being sent to Israel
The bombardment of Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas attacks of October 7, which killed 1,400, are estimated to have killed more than 9,250 Gazans according to the nation’s health ministry
The protest went ahead after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected pleas from President Biden for a ‘humanitarian pause’ in the bombardment
Protesters carried fake body bags with the names and ages of victims of Israel’s air strikes
Rallies were also held across the globe on Saturday in major cities such as London, Berlin, Paris, Ankara and Istanbul.
Jewish groups have advised against counter-protesting or engaging with the pro-Palestine marchers, the Guardian reports.
The Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center’s Jen Zwilling emailed members warning engagement could ‘increase the potential for violence or anti-Semitic rhetoric’, the outlet reports.
The bombardment entered its 27th day after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls from President Biden for a ‘humanitarian pause’ on the strikes earlier this week.
Biden stopped short of suggesting a full ceasefire, but backed a break to allow humanitarian aid in and movement of prisoners, the White House clarified.
His comments made in the wake of declining support for the strikes following reports of refugee camps and churches being hit, mark a departure from previous commitments to not dictate Israel’s military policy.