Pro-Palestinian protesters march in San Francisco for permanent ceasefire

Hundreds of people on Wednesday marched through the streets of San Francisco, calling for a permanent end to the Israel-Hamas war and carrying signs that read "Free Palestine." 

At the height of the evening commute, the demonstrators marched straight up First Street, heading towards the direction of the Bay Bridge.

They said they want to call attention to the plight of the Palestinian people in the conflict with Israel.

"We need a permanent ceasefire. We need them to be free," said Azell, a Palestinian-American protester who declined to give her last name. 

Police and the California Highway Patrol stood watch at First and Folsom streets, about a block before the on-ramp to the bridge. 

That's where the protesters turned left and headed towards the waterfront.

"We the people need to stand up for all forms of oppression," said Lisa, a protester who also declined to give her last name.  

Protesters ended their march at Justin Herman Plaza. Many in the crowd say they have family and friends  in Palestine. 

"Gut-wrenchig is the least of what we're feeling. We're feeling a lot of pain right now, but we're also feeling a lot of solidarity with the community who come out in support of Palestine and Palestinians," said Rami Abedlkarim with the Palestinian Youth Movement. .

The event started with a protest outside BlackRock offices in the Financial District.  Organizers said  the company has invested billions to fund the Israeli occupation.  

They have major investments in weapon companies that produce bombs, missiles and all sorts of destructive materials," said protester Irom Thockchom with Party for Socialism & Liberation.  

Protesters used street theater to accuse BlackRock of making blood money off the backs of Palestinians.

In response, the company issued this written statement, "BlackRock executives have spoken out forcefully about the devastation in the region, and the firm and employees have donated millions of dollars to humanitarian aid organizations --helping people affected in both Gaza and Israel. Accusations that BlackRock, or our clients, benefit from this crisis are both offensive and absurd."

"I feel like the images that we've seen of the children, the devastation. We can't go on this way.  We can't be okay with it," said protester Nathalie Hrizi.

Protesters said they came from different parts of the Bay Area. 

They said they will continue to take to the streets until there is a permanent ceasefire.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU.  Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU.