Some 40 protesters gathered outside the U.S. Courthouse in Tacoma this afternoon to condemn an Israeli raid on a flotilla of humanitarian aid for Gaza.
They carried signs reading “Violence Begets Violence,” “END CRUEL BLOCKADE,” “Hold Israel Accountable to International Law” and bearing similar messages.
The Tacoma protesters joined groups around the world in their condemnation of Israel for its commando raid on a flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza and send in aid.
At least nine people were killed in the attack, which occurred in international waters, according to wire service reports.
The group of protesters in Tacoma, assembled after a flurry of e-mails and telephone calls on Memorial Day, included members of United for Peace of Pierce County, People for Peace, Justice, and Healing, Women in Black and other groups.
“I just want our government to hold Israel accountable to international law,” said Linda Frank of Tacoma, explaining her attendance at the protest. “I care about justice. I care about human rights,” she added.
She’s studied Judaism and cares about it, too, Frank, said, calling the Israeli attack “a total violation of the tenets I have learned to love.”
Frank came dressed in a black sweatshirt bearing the message “We will not be silent.”
Nancy Farrell, 77, waved a Palestinian flag as she stood on the Pacific Avenue sidewalk outside the brick archways of the federal courthouse.
Several years ago, she volunteered in a refugee camp in Bethlehem, she said.
When she heard of the Israeli raid, she knew she needed to protest it, she added.
I yelled and I cried, and I just knew I had to be here,” she said.