NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Protesters have gathered outside the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Wednesday morning where President Joe Biden is set to be the keynote speaker at the academy’s graduation.
Chants of “Palestine is not for sale” and “Hey Joe Biden you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” could be heard among the dozens of protestors gathered outside the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. They were hoping their voices would be heard.
“This is not a choice for the Palestinians,” yelled one protestor. ”They come they take their homes. They come they take their land.”
The demonstrators were protesting the president’s support of Israel. Their passion further ignited by the deadly fighting in the Middle East which has claimed the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians.
“We are holding him accountable,” said one protester who wanted to remain anonymous. “He has said many times he is a Zionist and many times he has written aid to… even simultaneously right now a $700-million check while these war crimes are taking place.”
Jewish Groups in the Hartford area have strongly condemned the recent escalation of violence targeting civilians in Israel and Biden’s administration has spoken in support of Israel’s actions.
“Politicians are constantly saying that Israel has a right to defend itself. Israel is a heavy militarized state with $3.8 billion a year in aid a year from the United States,” said Shelly Altman of the group Jewish Voice for Peace.
“If a bodybuilder punches a baby is that equality of power? Can we say both people are fighting? Both people are in combat,” said the unnamed protester.
Like with most of the protests held outside the U.S. Coast Guard Academy the president doesn’t actually drive right by them but protestors still hope he gets their message.
For the most part, the protest was peaceful. One woman who at first refused to stop using a bull horn which was not allowed without the proper permit was issued a citation.
“Our message is clear we’re just here to advocate for the rights of Palestinians and for the rights of people living in Gaza,” said the unnamed protester.