Local March For Palestinians

May 24, 2021

Nadia Dames writes a message of solidarity.
Credit Calvin Pynn

After 10 days of fighting and hundreds killed, Israel and Hamas are observing a cease fire.  In Harrisonburg, protesters rallied in solidarity with Palestinians on Saturday. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

More than 200 people gathered at Court Square to hear stories from Palestinian Americans living in Harrisonburg. Nadia Dames helped organize the rally.  She has family living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank.

NADIA DAMES: Their taxes are paid to the government of Israel, but they have no rights. So, with that, their water and electricity can be cut off at any moment…

Ten-year-old Gilane Malek told a story about how she and her father were separated when trying to enter the country.

Gilane Malek (l) and Nadia Dames.
Credit Calvin Pynn

GILANE MALEK: He’s still in Egypt. I call him, but I can’t even see his face. This has been a hard time for me, but people in Palestine are having harder times.

Eastern Mennonite University professor Tim Seidel stressed stories like these are crucial in challenging imperialist policies.

TIM SEIDEL: Whose stories are we telling, and what’s the story that we’re living in to? There’s a story that dominates that’s based on fear that leads to policies and protocols of elimination in order to replace.

Tim Seidel teaches at Eastern Mennonite University
Credit Calvin Pynn

The rally ended with a march around the courthouse before moving down to a second rally at Liberty Park.

[Chanting: Palestine will be free!]