(WASHINGTON, DC 12/18/2017) — On Saturday, December 16, thousands of Palestinian and Muslim Americans, along with Jews, Christians, and other allies, gathered in front of the White House to protest President Donald Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The demonstration was organized by the U.S Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), and co-sponsored by leading civil rights and advocacy organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), as well as Jews United Against Zionism, among others.
Protesters came out strongly from across the country—Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia—aboard dozens of buses to send a loud and clear message to Trump: Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine and any declaration that erases its history and people will be unequivocally rejected.
The rally, which was broadcast live by Al Jazeera Mubasher, began at noon at the White House Ellipse and featured chants, songs about Al Quds, speeches by Muslim and Palestinian leaders, children reciting poetry, and activists of all backgrounds and faiths who asserted that Jerusalem would always remain the capital of Palestine and spoke out against the ongoing oppression of Palestinians.
As protesters waved hundreds of Palestinian flags and posters, and chanted slogans against Trump’s unjust policies, including “No Walls, No Bans, No Embassy on Stolen Land!”, the President himself witnessed the direct action when his Marine One helicopter flew directly above the demonstration.
Thousands of people then marched behind a large banner affirming “Jerusalem is a red line” from the White House to the Capitol Building holding U.S. Congress accountable for its role in shifting the status quo.
At the rally, organizers stressed that, while demonstrations are incredibly important and a valuable form of action, advocacy work must continue at the legislative level through lobbying and meetings with lawmakers to change unjust policies. Protesters were encouraged to meet with their elected officials to discuss Jerusalem and the situation in Palestine and to return in the spring for AMP’s annual legislative advocacy day.
AMP expresses its deepest gratitude to all the demonstrators near and far who turned out dedicated and determined, as well as the many volunteers, organizers, and supporters who made this event a great success.