News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Mon. Nov. 13, 2023: On Sunday, Puerto Ricans again marched through the streets of San Juan to denounce the genocidal acts that the State of Israel has been carrying out incessantly from Palestine since Oct. 7.
A popular Shabbat dinner with New York City politicians at the Somos political conference in San Juan was interrupted multiple times by pro-Palestinian protesters.
The Somos Conference is a large political conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that draws thousands community leaders and senior New York politicians each year to discuss issues of importance to Latinos in New York state and beyond. A Friday night dinner at the conference, sponsored by the UJA-Federation of New York and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty — which has evolved into an “essential stop on the circuit,” as City & State reported last year — was interrupted several times by protesters opposing Israel’s conduct in the war in Gaza.
Carrying flags of Palestine and Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans walked from the south side of the Capitol to the Federal Courthouse in Old San Juan. Many carried signs with messages such as “Free Palestine,” “Puerto Rico with Palestine,” “Stop Killing Children,” and “It’s not War, It’s Genocide.”
“The Palestinians have been victims of a genocidal bombing by the Army of the State of Israel for more over four weeks,” said Ricardo Santos Ortiz, spokesman for the Palestine Solidarity Network of Puerto Rico. “There is a situation of humanitarian crisis and genocide. There are clear intentions of racial extermination. Therefore, we see as urgent the solidarity from the people, the entire world, and Puerto Rico, which is also a colonized and intervened country,” he said.
“Our historical reality, as an occupied and colonized people, living under the U.S. imperialist yoke, has to direct us to a clear and forceful stance in favor of the Palestinian people’s struggle,” the Feminist Collective organization said in its call to the march.
“From Puerto Rico to Palestine, we demand liberation for all oppressed peoples. We call to put the body on the street, in solidarity with the Palestinians,” it added.
Protesters covered their hands in fake blood and shouted slogans in at the crowded event. One protester wore a scarf with the colors of the Palestinian flag and shouted, “Stop it!” Another chanted, “Never again for anyone! Plenty of Jews in New York hate genocide!”
More than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli bombardment, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday denounced the soaring number of Palestinians killed as Israel pushed ahead with its war against Hamas in Gaza, saying more needs to be done to protect the civilians.
In his strongest comments to date on civilians bearing the brunt of the war, Blinken welcomed the four-hour humanitarian Israeli pauses the White House announced on Thursday but said further action was required to protect Gaza’s civilians.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi as he wrapped up a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Asia, he said: “Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks.
“And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them,” he said, adding that Washington would be discussing further steps with Israel to advance these objectives.
Israel has been pounding Gaza from the air and sea and on the ground since Hamas gunmen broke through the enclave’s border fence on Oct. 7 and carried out an attack in which Israel said 1,400 people were killed and about 240 abducted.