During NBA All-Star weekend, Indy keeps all eyes on Rafah!

The Mayor, CEOs, bankers, big business owners, and real-estate developers wanted all eyes on Indianapolis as the city hosted the 73rd NBA All-Star Weekend between February 16-18 so they could reap as many potential benefits as possible. The people, on the other hand, who had no financial interest in the events, wanted all eyes focused on Palestine, Gaza, and especially Rafah. Outside of the Gainbridge Fieldhouse, hundreds of people braved the damp, below-freezing temperatures to show solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Rafah, the southern most city in Gaza, holds over 1.4 million Palestinians who were pushed there as Israel bombed the rest of the Gaza strip. Israel assured Palestinians they would be safe in Rafah (which now holds over 50 percent of Gaza’s population) only to launch a genocidal assault on the city, dropping bombs and threatening a ground invasion while the overall war against Palestine intensifies with U.S. governmental approval and the U.S. people’s tax dollars.

As part of a Global Day of Action, the Indiana branches of Jewish Voice for Peace and ANSWER Coalition organized a protest outside of the NBA All-Star event on February 17, along with the Middle Eastern Student Association of IUPUI, Students for Justice in Palestine of Purdue and Butler, PSL Indianapolis, and Indy Students for Socialism and Liberation.

The demonstration also included a special solidarity statement from New Afrikan political prisoner Shaka Shakur, recorded earlier that day from the Beaumont “Correctional” Center in Virginia, where he remains a captive of Indiana. His speech, “Similarities in the occupation and domination of Palestine and the New Afrikan nation” continued the long tradition of Black-Palestinian solidarity.

“All eyes on Indy? All eyes on Rafah!”

As promised, they “will continue to #ShutItDown for as long as necessary, until a permanent ceasefire is achieved, the siege is lifted, and Western complicity in Zionism ends.”

Featured photo: Crowds gathered outside the Fieldhouse on Feb. 17. Credit: ANSWER Indiana.