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Demonstrators gather outside Rhode Island State House to ‘Get Loud for Gaza’

Protesters demand Rhode Island congressional delegation call for ceasefire, reject proposed additional aid to Israel

<p>Over 50 protesters gathered to support a permanent ceasefire after the seven-day temporary truce between Israel and Hamas ended on Friday.</p>

Over 50 protesters gathered to support a permanent ceasefire after the seven-day temporary truce between Israel and Hamas ended on Friday.

On Friday, 14 organizations from across Providence and over 50 protestors gathered at the Rhode Island State House to “Get Loud for Gaza,” showing support for Palestine and calling for a permanent ceasefire. Demonstrators called on the Rhode Island congressional delegation to voice support for a ceasefire and oppose President Joe Biden’s military bill, which would provide billions in military aid to Israel.

Attendees at “Get Loud for Gaza” brought noise-makers, instruments, pots and pans to draw attention to their demands. Speakers led the group in chants calling out each member of the Rhode Island congressional delegation. They also sang, phoned representatives and gave speeches discussing the need for a ceasefire. 

The demonstration followed the Friday end of a temporary seven-day ceasefire in Gaza. As of Friday afternoon, an estimated 178 Palestinians had been killed since fighting resumed, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

The protest “was definitely an all-hands-on-deck, very quick action,” said Jackie Goldman, the media contact for Jewish Voice for Peace Rhode Island — one of the event’s lead organizers. “A number of us pulled some very late hours to connect with other groups to put together the plan today.”


“Our demands are that (Rhode Island members of Congress) Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo use their powers as legislators to sign on and support ceasefire legislation” and oppose bills that propose additional financial aid to the Israeli military, Goldman said. 

While no member of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation has called for a ceasefire, the Providence City Council released a statement in early November calling for a ceasefire and urging other Rhode Island politicians to do the same, The Herald previously reported

On Nov. 29, Reed published a joint statement with two other senators “supporting an Israeli strategy that will effectively degrade and defeat the threat from Hamas and taking all possible measures to protect civilians in Gaza.”

On Nov. 22, Whitehouse published a statement supporting the previous extended ceasefire. Earlier that month, Magaziner signed a letter calling on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to push Israel to limit civilian casualties in Gaza. 

And Amo said he opposed a ceasefire but said “strategic humanitarian pauses to reduce the loss of innocent life is really important to put forward” in a Nov. 21 interview with Punchbowl.

Councilor Miguel Sanchez, who was fired from the governor’s office allegedly for his support of Palestine, was in attendance on Friday.​​

“We would like to see all elected officials in the state demanding a ceasefire,” Sanchez said. In light of the end of the temporary truce, “we think it’s important to continue the actions (and) the pressure now more than ever before.”

“This temporary ceasefire has shown the negotiation is possible,” said Rafael Ash ’26, a member of BrownU Jews for Ceasefire Now who attended Friday’s demonstration. “I think the federal delegation needs to stand up really clearly for long-lasting peace.”

Among the organizations represented at the event was Brown’s Palestine Solidarity Caucus. Sherena Razek GS, a PSC organizer, said the organization’s demands to the University “cannot be untethered” from their demands to Rhode Island politicians.

Aaron Karp, a speaker from JVP, noted the campaign contributions made by Textron to Rhode Island political candidates. Waffa Freij, a school social worker originally from Palestine, spoke about her anger about U.S. tax dollars going to support the Israel Defense Forces. “We will not send our tax money to Israel,” Freij said. “We are not going to kill my cousin in Gaza.”


Some attendees and speakers emphasized separating antisemitism from anti-Zionism, in light of the U.S. House of Representatives passing a resolution stating that “denying Israel’s right to exist is a form of antisemitism.”

“Having this protest today as a Jewish organization would count as an antisemitic action,” said Goldman. “The more and more … that we tie antisemitism and anti-Zionism together, that’s gonna have real concrete safety impacts for Jewish people, and also make it so that we cannot understand the extent of antisemitism” today.

Joshua Blaine, another speaker from JVP, noted in his speech that the time of the protest coincided with the start of Shabbat. He then led the group in songs and noted the importance of singing in Jewish traditions. 

Freij emphasized a history of coexistence between Christians, Jews and Muslims. At the end of her speech, she spoke in Arabic quoting a prayer for peace from the Quran.

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Ciara Meyer

Ciara Meyer is a Senior Staff Writer covering the Beyond Brown beat. She is from Saratoga Springs, New York and plans on concentrating in Statistics and English nonfiction. In her free time, she loves scrapbooking and building lego flowers.

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