Ramallah July 25th, 2006 - “We are struggling for justice and there is no place for murderers and war criminals among us!” Under this slogan, some 2,500 thousand Palestinians held a mass protest in Ramallah against Condoleeza Rice, US foreign policy in the region and the meeting that was scheduled that day between her and Abu Mazen. Popular anger and determination to resist all those that want the surrender of the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice was boiling in the streets as the presidential guards were attacking the protestors.
The National and Islamic forces had called for a commercial strike for the whole day and for a demonstration towards the presidential compound to protest the presence of Condoleeza Rice. The demonstration took off from al Manara square through the city center towards the presidential compound. The thousands of people demanded Abu Mazen not to meet her but to kick her out of the country.
The people carried Palestinian and Lebanese flags and posters of the martyrs of both people fallen in the struggle against Zionism. They called upon the Palestinian Authority to take the Lebanese resistance as an example and to stay away from the “diplomacy” of massacres and destruction with which the US government attempts to implement its plan for a “New Middle East”.
Condoleeza Rice, calling the war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza the “birth pangs” of a “New Middle East”, embodies the White House financial, political and military support for the Occupation. The crowd was denouncing these US-backed crimes and the green light that the US gives to Israel to attack anyone resisting Zionist aggression. The people’s rage against the US veto in the Security Council in support of the ongoing siege and bombing of the Gaza strip as well as the US support for the destruction of Lebanon was expressed as pictures of Rice and Bush were burnt.
As the people gathered in front of the presidential compound, only a few meters from the meeting place, hundreds of presidential guards blocked the way and started beating the crowd with sticks while the protestors pushed forward. Demonstrators responded by pelting the guards with stones. Only after two hours of confrontations news spread among the protestors that Condoleeza Rice had left the presidential compound. The crowd dispersed determined to continue the resistance against the Occupation, its war crimes and its backers.
The point of it all: Photo Op!
Text from StopTheWall.org. Photos from Maan Images and Annemarie Jacir. Edited by Nigel Parry.