A pro-Palestinian rally and march on the White House drew thousands today, turning Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Square, the park opposite the White House, into a sea of demonstrators.
Waving Palestinian flags, chanting, “Free free Palestine” and “five, six, seven, eight, Israel is an apartheid state,” and holding signs that read “Free Palestine, Let Gaza Live,” the demonstrators gathered around a small stage in the park and eventually marched down Pennsylvanian Ave.
Uniformed Secret Service agents and local police, some on horseback, were on hand.
Protesters criticized Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and President Obama’s assertions that Israel has the “right to defend itself” in the face of Hamas rockets. That defense has meant a string of attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza that have brought criticism even from Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who have said Israel should do more to prevent civilian casualties.