Protesters renew Gaza ceasefire demands during Biden's Bay Area visit

President Joe Biden landed at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday afternoon to attend multiple fundraising events for his re-election campaign before leaving the region Thursday.

Hundreds of protesters gathered near a fundraiser site in the area of Pacific Avenue and Baker Street, demanding that President Biden back a ceasefire in Gaza.

Biden landed at SFO shortly before 3 p.m. and was greeted by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mayor London Breed. He made appearances at two campaign receptions in San Francisco on Wednesday. 

An earlier demonstration was held at Alta Plaza Park in Pacific Heights. At the park, a sizable contingent of roughly 150 people were seen with signs that read, "Stop U.S. Funded Genocide!" and "End U.S. Military Aid to Israel!" Other signs said, "Hands off Rafah!" referring to the Palestinian city in the Southern Gaza Strip. 

Those who gathered vigorously chanted, "It is right to rebel, Israel you can go to hell!" Demonstrators told Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "go to hell" in a call and response chant. In addition, the collective voice of the people shouted, "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." 

Protesters said they want an immediate ceasefire of all the violence going on against Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli defense forces – an action that's been going on since October. Another demand is that the billions of dollars given to Israel both in terms of financial aid, regular aid and military aid, be transferred to the use of the needs of the people of the United States, as well as humanitarian aid for the over one million Palestinians affected by the anti-Hamas military action. 

"We have [an] issue with $3 billion a year going to the Israeli-apartheid state. We want that money for health care. We want that money for education here. In one week, I had my rent raised, and I had my student loans kick in again. These are things that Biden said he would take care of and he didn't," said protester Ramsey Robinson. 

Demonstrators said the actions of both Biden and that of former House Speaker Pelosi are at the root of their concerns. There was a heavy police presence in the area with barricades set up near the fundraiser sites.

The Biden motorcade was seen leaving the house of Gordon Getty, where one of the campaign events was held, at 6:42 p.m.  

This is Biden's first visit to the Bay Area since November, when he and other world leaders attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit.

Bay City News contributed to this report. 


Biden's APEC arrival met with protesters demanding Gaza ceasefire

President Joe Biden held a fundraiser in San Francisco on Tuesday, coinciding with his arrival for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. In response, as many as one thousand protesters filled city streets urging the president to back a ceasefire in Gaza.