April 7 2001: Mass Rally for the Right of Return – reports and photos

On April 7, 2001, thousands of Palestinians and their allies marched in a mass rally through the streets of New York City, organized by Al-Awda NY/NJ and attended by Al-Awda […]

On April 7, 2001, thousands of Palestinians and their allies marched in a mass rally through the streets of New York City, organized by Al-Awda NY/NJ and attended by Al-Awda members and supporters from across the country. See below for photos.

Arjan El Fassed
Thousands of Palestinians and their supporters gathered over the weekend in what some say is one of the largest gathering of Palestinians ever, to bring to world attention the plight of the Palestinian refugees and the right to return to their homes and to demand the end of the belligerent occupation of Palestine.

In New York, approximately 8,000 gathered on Saturday, for the Right of Return rally, organized by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Palestinians and supporters came by plane, car, and bus, from all parts of the U.S. and other countries to join in the rally. Marchers assembled in front of the Israeli mission and headed toward Union Square in Manhattan. As they made their way down, they chanted “No Return, No Peace,î and, “Zionists, Zionists you must know, back to Palestine we will go.”

For many marchers, the rally was a very emotional experience and amidst the swelling crowd the unity and determination of Palestinians and their supporters grew with every chant. Marchers wore sweatshirts with the slogan “No Return = No Peace” with a map of Palestine and a key, symbolic of the return home.

The march and rally coincided with the the fifty-third anniversary of the massacre of Palestinian civilians committed by Zionist forces in the village of Deir Yassin. The event was also organized to protest the ongoing aggression and use of excessive force by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians in the past 6 months, since the outbreak of the recent intifada, and to express solidarity with Palestinians living under harsh conditions in the occupied territories.

Some of the speakers at the rally included Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, Palestinian journalist Muna Hamze, Puerto Rican disside! nt Rafael Cancel Miranda, and included statements from the Intifada leadership, the National and Islamist Forces in Palestine, and other expressions of solidarity. The rally also included a live feed with a simultaneous rally in Nazareth and with George Habash, former Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Similar rallies were organized over the weekend in Dheishe, Balata and several other refugee camps in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria and also in Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

Rally attendee and organizer Rima Anabtawi said “it was a great moment of solidarity and unity with Palestinians in exile all over the world. We have no choice but to stand up for the rights of our people whereever they are”.

Organizational Co-Sponsors or Endorsers 7 April 2001 Rally in New York City

The following is a listing (in the order received) of organizations and chapters that have co-sponsored or endorsed the 7 April 2001 Right
to Return March and Rally in New York City.

ADC Austin
ADC Massachusetts
ADC New Jersey Chapter
ADC New York Chapter
ADC Orange County/Los Angeles
ADC Sacramento
ADC University of Michigan (http://www.umich.edu/~adcum/)
ADC-Georgia Chapter
ADC-North Carolina Chapter
ADC-San Francisco
Al-Tanzeem Al-Islami of North America (TINA) (http://tanzeem.org)
Albassa And Friends Association, Lansing, MI
Algeria Watch International (http://www.pmwatch.org/awi/)
AMA-American Muslim Alliance (Mass chapter)
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)(http://www.adc.org)
American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ) (http://www.acj.org)
American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice
American Muslims for Jerusalem (http://www.amjerusalem.org)
Americans & Palestinians for Peace (http://www.ampal.net)
Arab American Action Network (http://www.aaan.org)
Arab Cause Solidarity Committee – Madrid /Spain
Arab Palestine Association, British Columbia, Canada
Arab Student Organization – Michigan State University
Arab Students Association at Tufts University
Arab Students United at New York University
Arab Women’s Solidarity Association (http://www.awsa.net)
Arab-American Association – Davis, California> Committee for a
Association des Palestiniens en France
Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians
ASWAT, San Francisco
BADIL http://www.badil.org
Baladna-Arab Palestinian Youth Organization, Haifa Palestine
Berkshire Radical Labor Counsel
Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
Canada Palestine Association
Canadian Arab Students’ Association, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Canadians for Equality and Peace for Palestinians (CEPPAL)
Center for Economic and Social Rights http://www.cesr.org
Center for Middle Eastern Studies, North Park Univ., Chicago, IL.
Coalition for Justice in Palestine, San Francisco
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy & Socialism (CCDS)
(http://www. cofc.org)
Council for Palestinian Restitution and Repatriation (CPRR, Canada)
Deir Yassin Committee of Ramallah
Deir Yassin Remembered (http://www.deiryassin.org/)
Freedom Socialist Party (http://www.socialism.com)
Friends for Palestine in Memphis
Friends of Sabeel New England
Global Exchange (http://www.globalexchange.org)
Graduate Union for Palestine
Grassroots International (http://www.grassrootsonline.org)
Greater New Haven Peace Council
Hammerhard MediaWorks Chicago, Illinois
Hanthala-Palestine (http://hanthala.virtualave.net)
International Action Center (http://www.iacenter.org)
International Socialist Organization
Islamic Association for Palestine http://iap.org/
Jerusalem Defense Committee, Canada
Jews Against the Occupation
Jews for Divestment from Israel, Berkeley
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFL-CIO Massachusetts
MADRE  (http://www.madre.org)
Middle East Children’s Alliance (http://www.mecaforpeace.org)
Middle East Crisis Committee (http://www.thestruggle.org)
Middle Eastern Students Club of Vanderbilt University
Militants for the Fourth International
MPJ- Moroccans for Peace and Justice (Boston Chapter)
Muslim Peace Fellowship
Muslim Public Affairs Council (http://www.mpac.org/)
Muslims Youth Movement, South Africa
Najda: Women Concerned about the Middle East
Nation of Islam (Boston Chapter)
National Council on Canada-Arab Relations
New York Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
New York University Islamic Center
Palestine – Chicago
Palestine Affairs Council, Houston, Texas, USA
Palestine Aid Society, Chicago http://www.palestine-aid-society.net
Palestine Committee – Michigan
Palestine Human Rights’ Campaign, Australia
Palestine Media Watch http://www.pmwatch.org
Palestinian American Women Association of Southern California
Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and
Peace Action – Yolo County Chapter
Prolibertad-Free The 6 Amnesty Campaign
Solidarity for Iraqi & Palestinian Children, Carleton University in
Solidarity www.solidarity-us.org
Solidarity, Madison branch
Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq
Students for Justice in Palestine
SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now)
Syrian Social Nationalist Party – North American Chapters
The Action Committee for a Democratic Secular Republic
The Arab American Community Center in Orlando
The Center for Intergenerational Compassion, Trust for the Future,
Inc, Nashville, Tennessee
The Freedom Archives (http://www.freedomarchives.org)
The Great Barrington Catholic Workers
The Green Party, Connecticut
The Jewish People’s Liberation Orghanization and the Reconciliation
The North American Christian Peace Conference
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (http://www.palestinecampaign.org)
Trans Arab Research Institute (http://www.tari.org)
Tufts University Arab Student’s Association
Turath, Columbia University’s Middle Eastern and North African Club
Union of Arab Student Alumni
Union of Arab Student Associations (http://www.angelfire.com/or/uasa)
United American Indians of NE
United American Indians of New England
US Out Now Coalition, Wisconsin
US Peace Council
Vieques Support Campaign
Watan, Brooklyn College, New York
Women Against Occupation (WAO), Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Women For Peace & Justice For Vieques
Women in Black Berkeley
Working Group/Socialist Front of Puerto Rico
Yale Arab Student Association
Yale Muslim Student Association
Prairie Fire Organizing Committee
The Dutch Palestine Committee (http://www.xs4all.nl/~npk/)
The Canadian Palestinian Foundation
The Australian Arabic Council (http://www.aac.org.au)
Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP) (http://www.hrcp.org)
Canadian Arab Federation
Canadian Palestinian Foundation
Palestinian Student Committees in Ottawa University
Association of Palestinian Arab Canadians- Capital Region
Call to Action – Wisconsin chapter
Peace Action – Wisconsin
Association of State Green Parties (http://www.greenparties.org/)
Cornell University Arab Club
Direct Action Network, NY