(Jennifer Bing wrote and read the following speech at a rally held in Chicago on June 5, 2018)
Friends, I am here today to make sure you heard the message.
A very important message has been sent.
It was sent on March 30, it was sent on May 14, it was sent just last night.
It was sent at campsites, erected at fences.
It was sent flying on kites.
It was sent on placards with portraits of King, Gandhi, and Mandela.
It was sent on wheelchairs, on crutches.
It was sent kneeling in prayer.
It was sent by journalists facing the threat of sniper fire.
It was sent by medics rescuing the injured.
It was sent by dancers and painters.
It was sent by fishermen and strawberry farmers.
It was sent by school children in striped uniforms.
It was sent by old women holding their keys.
It was sent by college students waiting for their visas.
It was sent by lovers who marry via skype.
It was sent by the man who pours tea for his guests.
It was sent by the woman who builds websites.
It was sent by 2 million people living in conditions we cannot fathom.
The message sent from the Great Return March in the past two months is clear: Palestinians want to be free. The blockade must end. Refugees must gain their rights.
As we stand here today to challenge the Israeli ambassador’s attempts to rally Americans to give blind support to the Israeli army -- the same army that shoots and kills Palestinians in Gaza and continues an immoral and unjust blockade – we must remember to center, hear and honor those messengers in Gaza.
We must use our voices to amplify their message and act to change the hearts and minds of those who have yet to understand that Palestinian freedom is necessary for all to live in peace and security.