Thousands expected to attend pro-Palestine march in DC for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war

Thousands are expecting to march and rally Saturday in Washington, D.C., supporting calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, and an end to U.S. aid to Israel.

Brian Becker is the executive director of the Answer Coalition, an anti-war organizer formed after the 9/11 attacks. 

Becker told FOX 5 the group will start at Freedom Plaza and march to the White House.

"Tomorrow at Freedom Plaza, we’re going to make history. This will be the largest demonstration in support of Palestinian rights in the history of the United States," he said.

The march comes days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill sending $14.3 billion in federal aid dollars to Israel. The bill was passed by a 226 to 196 vote, with 12 Democrats joining Republicans to pass it. 

The bill heads to the U.S. Senate with the White House signaling President Biden would veto it if it came to his desk because it does not include funding for Ukraine.

Image 1 of 2

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during statements to the media inside The Kirya, which houses the Israeli Defence Ministry, after their meeting in Tel Aviv on October 12, 2023. Blinken arrived in a show of solidarity after Hamas's surprise weekend onslaught in Israel, an AFP correspondent travelling with him reported. He is expected to visit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Washington closes ranks with its ally that has launched a withering air campaign against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JACQUELYN MARTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Friday with senior Israeli leadership, posting on the social media platform X – formerly known as Twitter – that his visit "reaffirmed the United States’ support for Israel’s right to defend itself consistent with international humanitarian law".

Blinken said Friday, more needed to be done to protect Palestinians.

"I have returned to the region to engage in intense diplomacy with our partners to try and help sure an attack like Oct. 7 never happens again. In doing so, we forge a different future. A very different future for Israelis and Palestinians alike," Blinken said Friday. "We have been clear that as Israeli conducts its campaign to defeat Hamas, how it does so matters. It matters because it’s the right and lawful thing to do. It matters because failure to do so plays into the hands of Hamas and other terror groups."


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says 'we need to do more to protect Palestinian civilians'

Israel warned that it was on high alert for attacks on its border with Lebanon as fears grew that the conflict that began with a Hamas rampage in Israel could widen.

On Friday, a group of volunteers began setting up at Freedom Plaza for the march.

"We have Muslims, we have Christians, we have Jewish people. We have people from all walks of life, all faiths coming together against what we consider to be a criminal war against the people of Gaza. It’s not antisemitism to disagree with Israel’s policy," Becker said. "There should absolutely be a ceasefire. Thousands of people, half of whom are children, have died in Gaza in recent weeks."

Image 1 of 4

Historic March for Peace: Thousands to rally in D.C. for ceasefire and reevaluation of U.S. aid to Israel

The event begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday. In a statement to FOX 5, the Metropolitan Police Department said the agency was working closely with local and federal partners to ensure safety and security this weekend.

"MPD does not provide specifics on operations, tactics, or staffing," an emailed statement reads. "MPD encourages the public to remain vigilant. If you see something, say something. Please report immediate suspicious activity by calling 911."

 A spokesperson for Capitol Police also confirmed they would have an increased presence Saturday.