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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Little Arabia hosts a Palestinian solidarity rally

Layla Hernandez
People holding up signs and waving flags to show support for Palestine.

In the Arab enclave of West Anaheim, known as the Gaza Strip before the 1980s and officially recognized as Little Arabia in 2022, hundreds organized on Nov. 29 for occupied Palestine in a Shut it Down march as a part of a national movement through the Party for Socialism & Liberation.

Beneath the lights lining the parking lot, rallyers congregated on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine demanding a permanent cease-fire, the freedom of all political prisoners held by Israeli Occupation Forces and an end to U.S.-Israeli allyship and military aid.

Gathered before the Desert Moon Grill off Brookhurst St., attendees were garbed in winter clothes, many adorning keffiyehs, and flags representative of Palestine, México and Colombia.

It was shortly after 6 p.m. that the mass of people became an audible force, led by Kourosh Karimi, flags and signs raised in the air, chants bellowing, “From the sea to the river, Palestine will live forever!”

Such influence in demonstrations and on social media has led to social and legal ramifications such as job termination, blacklisting, doxxing, violence, and hate crimes.

Shareef Abumuhor, event speaker with the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, argues that the genocidal rhetoric of American media is the first to blame following the shooting of three Palestinian students in Vermont.

Amid an age of constant digitization, when news is plastered to the screens of millions within seconds, the narratives and rhetoric so commonly found within the political realms of various media forums and those that are excluded harbor a profound influence and importance.

“Our government does not represent the people and it does not represent [Palestinians],” Abumuhor’s words carried through the crowd over speakers, followed by cheers of agreement.

“We will never stand for genocide or their war campaign as they continue to bomb our entire world. And they want to lecture us about anti-Semitism and human rights.”

Following the Oct. 7 Hamas intifada or uprising, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has reported a death toll of 1,200 Israeli settlers who were martyred, though mounting evidence shows Israeli tanks and missiles were responsible for much of these deaths.

Abumuhor continued to share how Western-Israeli allyship and genocidal complicity in the media and governments have created an invitation to the spread of anti-Arab, Islamophobic, and anti-Palestinian aggressions, inadvertently drawing a line signifying free speeches’ end where ethnic liberation begins.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill equating anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism the same day recognizing international solidarity.

Through such volatile actions, solidarity with the oppressed and occupied becomes of utmost importance for protesters. Kourosh Karimi, an immigration attorney and member of the Party for Socialism & Liberation organizing the event, emphasizes the importance of rallying and the power of community advocacy in the face of propaganda and media falsity.

“It’s really the most important thing we can do right now,” shares Karimi, “When we take to the streets and agitate and organize we’re showing the US and the ruling class our collective power. Our power to get out there and keep fighting, stop business as usual.”

While the genocidal crimes committed by Israel echo the voice of past actions, indigenous and ethnic individuals today recognize such inhumanity as the same wounds bound by colonial forces, allowing many people of color to recognize intersectionality as an important facet of solidarity and the fight for liberation.

Alejandra O., a third-generation Mexican American in attendance at the rally, shared, “Our people were wiped out on this continent. What’s happening to [Palestinians] happened to [Mexicans] and it’s very devastating.”

Cries of ethnic solidarity were shouted as the mass of people marched down the streets of Little Arabia, “From Palestine to the Philippines, stop the U.S. war machine,” and “From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go!”

“Aside from Israel, the U.S. has fucked over Latino America for so long,” shared Sharon E., an Inland Empire resident of Mexican descent, “We’re so tired of being occupied people, we’re tired from having to survive, […] coming together just sustains our humanity.”

Shut it Down events are regularly organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation, with the Nov. 29 event hosted in assistance with the ANSWER Coalition, Latino and Muslim Unity Coalition, Harbor Institute for Immigration & Economic Justice, and the Palestinian American Women’s Association.

“[Mainstream media] do that on purpose, obscure what’s really happening, so we encourage people to see it for themselves,” reflects Karimi, “Take part in the justice movement, the Palestinian fight is our fight, too.”

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About the Contributor
Layla Hernandez, Community Editor
Layla Hernandez is the community editor for Talon Marks covering the Greater Los Angeles area and its local culture. Outside of the newsroom, they can be found reading, writing, creating art, listening to music, or spending time with friends. Hernandez hopes to transfer in 2025 and travel writing about art and culture.
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