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San Francisco protesters stage pro-Palestine rally, demanding ceasefire

Pro-Palestinian protesters in San Francisco shut down Central Freeway entrance at Octavia on 20 February, 2024. (Photo via social media)

Thousands of pro-Palestine demonstrators took part in a protest march in the US city of San Francisco, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and slamming US President Joe Biden for his role in a genocide.

Footage shows protesters waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans such as “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” and “Ceasefire now.”

They held placards reading, “Stop the Genocide” and “Hands off Rafah”, referring to Israel’s plan to launch a ground offensive against Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip.

“A temporary ceasefire is absolutely not sufficient. You can’t pause genocide. There is only stopping it,” said Wassim Hage, a member of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center which planned the demonstration.

“There will be no peace until there is justice,” Hage said.

The demonstrators reportedly blocked the southbound lane of San Francisco’s Highway 101 and the freeway on-ramp at Van Ness on Monday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Protesters said blocking the highway was the only way they felt might attract global attention and send a message to the elected officials as the protest was held on Presidents’ Day.

“We can’t take this anymore and we need to let Joe Biden know that he must make Israel a red line, and end all arms sales to Israel, because as frustrated as the people on the freeway are, we share that exact frustration with them,” said Rami Abdel Karim from the Palestinian Youth Movement.

Clashes between San Fransico police and protesters have been reported as the police tried to prevent the demonstrators from blocking the main road in the city.

In January, San Francisco became the largest city in the US to pass a ceasefire resolution, voting 8-3 in favor.

Since the start of Israel’s war in Gaza on October 7, various US states have been the scene of widespread demonstrations in support of Palestinians.

Pro-Palestinian protesters are pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza, blaming the war on the United States’ unconditional support for the Israeli regime.

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kan’ani in a post on X said the US Senate’s approval of a $14-billion aid package to Israel funded by American taxpayers, shows the United States rewards the regime with a daily sum of one hundred million dollars for massacring innocent Palestinian civilians.

The Tel Aviv regime’s decision to push ahead with a ground offensive against Rafah has drawn widespread condemnations from international organizations around the world as well as political figures in the West.

Rafah, housing more than 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, is the last major population center in the Gaza Strip that Israeli troops have yet to invade and also the main point of entry for desperately needed aid.

More than 29,195 Palestinians, mostly women, and children, have been killed and over 69,170 others injured since the Israeli regime launched its US-backed onslaught on Gaza.

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