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On Saturday, Nov. 4, tens of thousands of demonstrators from around the country descended on the nation’s capital for the Free Palestine! National March on Washington. “We are here to demand an end to the genocide against the Palestinian people,” Yara Shoufani, an organizer with the Palestinian Youth Movement, told TRNN. “We are calling for an immediate ceasefire, we are calling for an end to US military aid to Israel, and we are calling to lift the siege on Gaza.” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and veteran journalist Jaisal Noor were on the ground in DC to speak with organizers and attendees.

Studio Production: Jaisal Noor
Post-Production: Jaisal Noor, Alina Nehlich


Maximillian Alvarez:  This is Maximillian Alvarez for The Real News Network. Behind me, you see the thousands upon thousands of people who have come to Washington DC for the March on Washington for Palestine. People around the country are here to demand an end to Israel’s genocidal bombing of Gaza, here to demand an end to the 75-year Israeli occupation of Palestine.

For the past few hours, we’ve been hearing speakers on the stage just over to my left. And right now, the march is about to begin heading towards the White House. We are here on the ground for The Real News Network talking to folks about why they’re here, why this is important, and what feels different about this moment.

Yara Shoufani:  We are here to demand an end to the genocide against the Palestinian people with three central demands: We’re calling for an immediate ceasefire; we are calling for an end to US military aid to Israel; and we are calling to lift the siege on Gaza which, for 17 years, has suffocated the people of Gaza and turned Gaza into an open-air prison.

Jihad Alniser:  I’ve seen all the graphic pictures, I’ve seen everything in Palestine. At this point, there’s no limit for what I can’t see. I’ve seen everything now. And for a ninth grader, at first it was scary and then it became less scary as you saw more and more of it. If this is how I feel outside of Gaza, imagine how the people in Gaza feel.

Michaela Yamine:  We’re out here today because there’s a genocide happening in Palestine, and that’s fucked up.

Griffin Mahon:  An injury to one is an injury to all, and American-made bombs are being used to kill the families of Americans in Palestine in addition to thousands and thousands of other people, and our government should not support that.

Merveen Adwan:  Oslo agreement and all this political work didn’t help Palestinian people to live in peace. 75 years of suffering, losing people close to you, finding them hurt all the time. Even after we get our citizenship, I’m not able to visit my family there. My dad died in Gaza and I was not able to visit and see him because the border is always closed.

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Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
Follow: @maximillian_alv

Jaisal is currently the Democracy Initiative Manager at the Solutions Journalism Network and is a former TRNN host, producer, and reporter. He mainly grew up in the Baltimore area and studied modern history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining TRNN, he contributed print, radio, and TV reports to Free Speech Radio News, Democracy Now! and The Indypendent. Jaisal's mother has taught in the Baltimore City Public School system for the past 25 years. Follow him on Twitter @jaisalnoor.