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Hundreds of Protesters Crash Biden Fundraiser in SF, Demanding a Cease-Fire in Gaza

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Protesters by the side of a road with a park behind them holding banners and chanting.
Pro-Palestinian protesters showed up at Alta Plaza Park near a Biden fundraiser in San Francisco to protest the U.S. president and military support for Israel as they called for a cease-fire in Gaza on Feb. 21, 2024.  (Juan Carlos Lara/KQED)

Protesters demanding a cease-fire in Gaza gathered Wednesday night near a fundraiser in San Francisco for President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign.

Hundreds of activists filled Alta Plaza Park as part of the demonstration organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Protesters chanted “Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and urged the president to end U.S. aid to Israel.

“While Biden charges donors $100,000 for a ticket to his cocktail party, bombs labeled ‘Made in the USA’ are raining down on civilians in Gaza for the fourth consecutive month, killing over 13,000 Palestinian children and counting,” said Suzanne Ali, a Palestinian Youth Movement member, in a written statement. “How dare he visit San Francisco only to rake in cash, ignoring residents of a city which passed a ceasefire resolution with a supermajority?”

Protesters hold placards and banners protesting the US president and Israel.
Pro-Palestinian protesters at Alta Plaza Park on Wednesday. (Juan Carlos Lara/KQED)

Organizers said they were also concerned by statements from Israeli officials that their military forces could soon launch a ground assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where more than a million people are reportedly seeking refuge after fleeing Israel’s bombardment of much of the northern Gaza Strip. With Rafah up against Egypt’s border, those people could not go any further south.

“We are demanding that there is a permanent cease-fire now,” said Party for Socialism and Liberation member Ramsey Robinson, who spoke at the protest. “That’s our money, stolen from the people, stolen from the taxpayers, and we want to let Joe Biden know that we know that.”

A young man with red shirt and brown clothes speaks into a mic with others standing beside him and a red brick building in the background.
Ramsey Robinson with the Party for Socialism and Liberation speaks at the protest Wednesday afternoon. (Juan Carlos Lara/KQED)

Biden will reportedly make multiple campaign stops in San Francisco and Los Altos Hills between Wednesday and Thursday. But Robinson thinks that other than “the tiny number of the super-rich,” Biden isn’t popular in the Bay Area.

“We’ve got to keep coming out and showing face. They like to pretend they don’t see us out here in the streets but we’ve been out here in the streets week after week after week since Oct. 7,” Robinson said.

Palestinian Youth Movement member Violette Mansour said she condemned wealthy San Franciscans who made donations to the Biden campaign, saying the fact the city passed a resolution supporting a cease-fire is “evidence that San Franciscans oppose his continued support of Israel.”

“The people have the power and the people here will demand and continue to make our voices heard because the people who say they represent us do not represent us,” Mansour said.

The Biden campaign did not return a request for comment.

Maria Aguilar (left) said ‘opposing the genocide’ in Gaza is ‘core to her values as a socialist.’ (Juan Carlos Lara/KQED)

This story will be updated.

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