Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters took to streets across the U.S. on Nov. 4, calling for a Gaza ceasefire amid the Israel-Hamas war. More than 9,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, and more than 1,400 people killed in Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the war.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far refused to call for a ceasefire until Hamas releases more than 200 hostages. U.S. President Joe Biden recently urged for a humanitarian pause to allow more aid to be distributed and for hostages to be released.
With all eyes on the Middle East, there has been an outcry of support for a ceasefire. Across social media, many people are calling attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with food, water, fuel and medical supplies running out.
Below, are key moments from the protests across the U.S.
Musician Macklemore speaks to the Washington D.C. crowd
Musician Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, took to the microphone at a rally in the nation’s capital on Nov. 4, saying he didn’t expect to be there since “there were thousands of people who are more qualified to speak on the issue of a free Palestine than myself.”
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“They told me to be quiet, they told me to do my research, to go back, that it’s too complex to say something, to be silent in this moment. In the last three weeks, I’ve gone back and I’ve done some research and I’m teachable, I don’t know enough, but I know enough that this is a genocide,” he claimed. A video of his speech has since received over 112,000 likes on X (formerly Twitter).
The United Nations defines genocide as a crime “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” The U.N. has said it is gathering evidence for war crimes committed by Hamas and Israel, while nine families of Israeli victims of the Hamas attack filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court arguing Hamas committed genocide.
Israel’s government has pushed back on allegations of genocide—for instance, accusing some Spanish politicians who suggested that of aligning with Hamas.
Macklemore speaks at the “Free Palestine” rally in DC:
“They told me to do my research, that it’s too complex, to be silent … In the last 3 weeks, I’ve gone back & I have done some research, I don’t know everything, but I know enough to know that this is a genocide.” pic.twitter.com/QQcjZQcSFQ
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 4, 2023
Nihad Awad promises consequences in the 2024 election: "No ceasefire, no votes"
Nihad Awad, the national director at the Council on American–Islamic Relations, told a Washington D.C. crowd on Nov. 4 that no ceasefire means no Arab-American votes for President Biden and the Democratic party in the 2024 elections, The Guardian reported.
“Our message is: No ceasefire, no votes,” Awad repeated, with the crowd joining in. “No votes in Michigan, no votes in Arizona, no votes in Georgia, no votes in Nevada, no votes in Wisconsin, no votes in Pennsylvania.”
— KNB (@AkidNamedBilly) November 4, 2023
Time lapse shows huge turnout at D.C. protest
The activist group the Answer Coalition, which promoted the protest in Washington D.C. on Nov. 4, released a time lapse video, showing massive streams of people on the streets.
The organization claimed on Twitter that the march was attended by 300,000 people, although that number could not be verified by TIME.
🇵🇸Today, the people made history! 300,000 marched in Washington DC to demand an end to Biden and Israel’s genocide against Gaza and demand freedom for Palestine!#March4Palestine pic.twitter.com/RmDqZCftAD
— ANSWER Coalition (@answercoalition) November 4, 2023
Thousands take over roads in California cities
Holding posters and Palestinian flags, protestors calling for a Gaza ceasefire amassed at the Israeli Consulate in West Los Angeles on Nov. 4, before marching down and eventually taking over a main boulevard. On the same day, protesters rallied in San Francisco and marched downtown.
Protesters storm U.S. military supply ship in Oakland
Ahead of the Nov. 4 marches, protesters amassed around a U.S. military supply ship in Oakland, California on Nov. 3 for hours, some clinging to its side and climbing up its ladders, after they claimed to have heard from a source that it was headed toward Israel.
However, union officials and subcontractors at the Port of Oakland working around the ship said it was empty and periodically came and went from the port.
Protesters at the Port of Oakland have stopped a military vessel they heard was ultimately headed to Israel with American weapons.
The ship was about to leave when dozens ran towards it and grabbed its ropes.
Three ppl have been clinging to the ship’s ladder for over 5 hours pic.twitter.com/jV9EPPf4yd
— Dena Takruri (@Dena) November 3, 2023
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