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Pro-Palestinian activists demand ceasefire in Gaza during All-Star Weekend

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As celebrities and public figures flocked to Indianapolis for the NBA All-Star weekend, pro-Palestinian activists were hoping to draw attention to calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Organizations including the Party for Socialism and Liberation Indianapolis, Jewish Voice for Peace Indiana and the Middle Eastern Students Association from a local university rallied at Lugar Plaza Saturday, Feb.17 and marched to Lucas Oil Stadium.

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“All-Star Weekend is happening for the NBA, and the mayor and these business leaders in our city want all the eyes of the world to be here in Indianapolis,” said Noah Leininger with Party for Socialism and Liberation Indianapolis.

“We are seeing that the State of Israel is threatening to bomb and invade Rafah, which is right now the most densely populated area in the world.”

Many of the protesters attended weekly events for the past four months, as part of a growing majority of Americans who support a ceasefire after Israel has killed at least 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

Ceasefire in Gaza

The action felt more urgent as Israel began attacking Rafah, the southernmost point of Gaza.

“Our message here tonight is that we are calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. All eyes are on Indy right now, but our eyes are on Gaza, on Rafah, we are not looking away, and we are going to make sure that the city does not look away,” said Malkah Bird with Jewish Voices for Peace Indiana.

A few protesters sported signs inside the stadium in the stands during All-Star Weekend’s 3-point and dunk contests.

The Indianapolis Coalition for Palestine organized the event.

Signs and banners read “Ceasefire Now,” “Let Gaza Live,” “All Eyes on Gaza,” and “Free Palestine.”

Throughout Downtown and across the city, banners were hung up on the outside of local parking garages and bridges.

Jewish Voices for Peace Indiana said athletes have a unique ability to unite people and a historic duty to speak truth to power.

Protestors held up traffic on Capitol Street briefly and were assisted by IMPD.
Ceasefire protests have been ongoing across the U.S. for over the last 130 days.

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