protestors hold signs about Gaza
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of Howard County community activists will call for a ceasefire in Gaza during a rally at noon Sunday outside the George Howard Building in Ellicott City.

The group is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to what it calls “indiscriminate bombing of innocent civilians.”

According to the press release announcing the rally, the event “is a plea for peace and a demand for the United States to halt military funding to Israel, which is used to perpetuate violence against Palestinian civilians. Activists emphasize that the recent attacks should not obscure the longstanding issues at the heart of the conflict.”

“The tragedies on October 7 cannot be used as an excuse to support Israel’s retaliatory and indiscriminate targeting of civilians,” Hiruy Hadgu, spokesperson for the organizers, told Baltimore Fishbowl in a phone call. Hadgu said the coalition believes the Israeli government is intentionally targeting civilians, not Hamas.

Iterating another of the group’s demands, Hadgu said, “There hasn’t been a single call for a ceasefire on the part of our federal legislators,” referring to Maryland’s U.S. senators and representatives in Congress.

Hadgu pointed to Maryland State Legislator Gabriel Acevero (D- D39) as releasing a statement calling for a ceasefire.

“As an advocate for peace, I demand a ceasefire and an end to the decades-long occupation. Further, unrestricted humanitarian aid and a release of all civilian hostages in Gaza as well as all political prisoners in Israeli jails held without charge or trial. A ceasefire would allow for meaningful diplomacy that centers the rights and dignity of Palestinians and Israelis,” wrote Acevero in a statement released on his social media pages.

The coalition is critical of what they see as unconditional American support for actions they’re calling “genocide,” as do some international human rights organizations and observers. They want Maryland’s and federal elected officials to “speak out with moral clarity against the bombings and the financial support they argue is fueling the conflict.” They’re also calling for an end to the “cycle of violence” and the recognition of Palestinian rights.

The organizers say the rally will also address the broader context and history of the conflict, including actions the U.S. and Israeli governments have taken, which the group argues have led to the current conditions.

Participants will gather to make three demands:

  • An immediate halt to bombings in Gaza by Israel.
  • The cessation of American support and funding for actions they consider to be genocide.
  • A clear and unambiguous call for a ceasefire from Howard County local leaders, state legislators, Gov. Wes Moore, and Maryland’s federal legislators.

Organizers say they hope to unite voices across Howard County in a call for peace and justice for everyone affected by the conflict.

The rally is co-hosted by Our Revolution Howard County, CAIR Maryland, and MD 2 Palestine.

The George Howard Building is located at 3430 Court House Drive #100 in Ellicott City. The rally begins at 12 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12.

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