Several hundred protesters marched on Market Street Wednesday night calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict, and among them was one of the three Palestinian college students who was shot in Vermont on Thanksgiving weekend.
When you saw tweets from the SFMTA Twitter account starting around 5 p.m. Wednesday saying things like “Protest march now crossing Market and 3rd” and “#FMarket will see delays along Market,” you pretty much figured it was another pro-Palestine protest. And indeed that was the case, as NBC Bay Area reports that “hundreds” rallied in support of a Gaza ceasefire in a youth rally protest that started at the Embarcadero and headed up Market Street.
But that same report points out there was one very notable protester in attendance. One of the protesters was 20-year-old Haverford College junior Kinnan Abdalhamid, one of the three Palestinian students who was shot in Vermont on Thanksgiving weekend in what is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“A man shot us unprovoked while we were walking down, speaking half Arabic, half English, about the homework we had to do,” Abdalhamid told NBC Bay Area.
Abdalhamid is visiting the Bay Area, as he reportedly has family here. We should clarify that Abdalhamid is a different shooting victim than 20-year-old Hisham Awartani, who was actually born in San Francisco. Awartani’s injuries were far more severe, and he remains paralyzed from the chest down.
But Abdalhamid notes that the November shooting is hardly the only abuse he and his family have received since the Israel-Gaza conflict escalated in October.
“My cousins have been spat on, punched, and those are the areas that’s supposed to be minimal violence and it’s not even under the governance of Hamas,” he told NBC Bay Area. “As soon as there’s no collective response to violating human rights on a mass scale, you could see how that could get normalized and go downhill very quickly for everyone.”
Wednesday’s protest came on the heels of Tuesday’s vote by the SF Board of Supervisors to approve a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, as the Gaza death toll has reached 23,000, following the October 7 Hamas attacks that killed 1,200 Israelis.
Image: @loligotsuspend1 via Twitter