Thousands Travel to Pro-Palestinian Rally Outside White House Gates
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in DC on Saturday for a pro-Palestinian demonstration.
Organizers said hundreds of buses brought people from across the country to the nation’s capital.
Insider spoke to people from as far as Georgia and Illinois who made the journey to the protest.
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Aali had never been to a protest before he came to the pro-Palestine march in Washington, DC, on Saturday.
“This is good,” Aali said at the demonstration. “If you can do something, you have to do it.”
It was also Aali’s first time traveling for a protest — he told Insider he took a bus from Pennsylvania to the nation’s capital on Saturday morning.
“It was about a 2-hour bus ride,” he said.
Aali, who asked Insider to withhold his last name due to privacy concerns, is just one of hundreds of people who traveled from outside the Washington, DC, metro area for the National March on Washington: Free Palestine demonstration organized by nine co-sponsoring activism groups.
“Hundreds of buses have been organized by local community groups and progressive organizations to bring activists and people of conscience from cities across the country to join the historic march,” organizers said in a statement provided to Insider Saturday morning.
Organizers told Insider before the demonstration they were expecting 100,000 attendees and that they hoped it would be the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in US history.
Watta, from Philadelphia, told Insider the distance she drove didn’t matter, given how much the cause mattered to her.
“It’s about two hours from Philadelphia, and I’ve never driven to DC before,” Watta told Insider at the demonstration. “The farthest I can comfortably drive is an hour, but obviously the miles do not matter because I came here in solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
Others came from the southern or Midwestern US.
Mary, from Chicago, told Insider the last time she traveled to a protest was 30 years ago.
“This is breathtaking, and it’s amazing,” Mary told Insider.
Others traveled in large groups by bus. Thejas Wesley, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, told Insider he traveled with 750 people across 14 buses from Boston.
K.B. Butler said she and 200 others from Atlanta boarded a bus at 8 p.m. on Friday to make it in time for the demonstration.
“There are so many people at this protest who are out on the streets for the first time, as well as people who are learning about what’s happening in Palestine for the first time,” Butler told Insider.
Hundreds of thousands of people are rallying across the world in support of Palestine
Saturday’s protesters joined the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have marched in pro-Palestine rallies in the last several days.
Massive protests swept London, Istanbul, San Francisco, and Los Angeles last weekend after the Israel Defense Forces launched its ground operation in Gaza.
Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people and kidnapped an estimated 100 to 200 people in a series of terroristattacks in southern Israel on October 7.
In response, Israel launched punishing air strikes and a ground offensive in the densely populated Gaza Strip, which is home to about 2 million people, nearly one million of them children.
The Hamas-led Palestinian Health Ministry said that the death toll in Gaza is nearing 10,000 people. The Ministry said Saturday at least 3,900 thousands of those fatalities have been children.
The Palestinian Health Ministry released a list containing the names, ID numbers, and ages of every person killed by Israeli airstrikes, Insider previously reported, after President Joe Biden publicly doubted the accuracy of their casualty statistics.