Music and Palestinian flags filled First Avenue South in Birmingham on Sunday as people came together to protest violence by the Israeli government in Palestine.
The event held outside Railroad Park featured speeches by several local activists and a march that circled around the streets of the Midtown area.
This is the second protest in two weeks. Last week’s protest was held in front of city hall. Danah Dib, one of the organizers, said that the move to the Railroad Park area was a matter of visibility.
“We chose Railroad Park because we know a lot of people come here, and we walked past the Barons game and all the Breweries and they all saw us and what we are trying to get the world to see,” Dib, a junior a majoring in philosophy and political science at UAB, said.
The protests come as violence breaks out across Palestine. Israeli bombing has claimed the lives of at least 248 Palestinians including 66 children. For many at the protest in Birmingham, it is these bombings that brought them out.
With these protests, Dib said she hopes to see an increase in awareness for the issues Palestinians face.
“Only thing I really want people to do is to educate themselves,” Dib said. “Post about, talk to your congressman, talk to anyone about it, go out and protest, and just be the voice for the millions who can’t use their voice in Palestine.
Victor Spazini, an attendee, said that he was ashamed that the United States has funded the Israeli military.
“I’m here because of I’m ashamed of what our government is doing in Israel,” Spazini said. “This is our Holy Land, so why are we killing children over there? Why do we have walls everywhere?”
While a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas since May 20 has brought much of the fighting in Gaza to a standstill for the time being, for the protestors in Birmingham on Sunday, the fight will not be over until there is a Palestinian state free of Israeli occupation.
Alex Yates, UAB junior majoring in international relations, said she attended the rally because she thinks it important to show her support for all causes.
“We have to recognize that all these movements together actually have a same cause, and the more that we see that work together, the more that we are able to actually make change in this world,” Yates said.
As the rally came to a close, organizers called out over megaphones for people to return signs and flags with a promise: they’d be used at the next protest and the next and the next until there is a free Palestine.