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"We are here in peace": Colorado Palestinian Coalition plans to protest upcoming Jewish National Fund conference

Colorado Palestinian Coalition plans to protest upcoming Jewish National Fund Conference
Colorado Palestinian Coalition plans to protest upcoming Jewish National Fund Conference 02:18

The Colorado Palestinian Coalition took to the streets again Sunday, this time to protest the Jewish National Fund's Global Conference for Israel, which will be held at the Colorado Convention Center this week.


"We do protest the global conference for Israel. Israel has spent the better part of the last two months committing a genocide, an absolute genocide in Gaza. And now they want to come here and fundraise in our backyard in a building that is paid for with our tax dollars? Well, we take issue with that," said Abdullah Elagha, one of the leaders of the Colorado Palestinian Coalition.

Abdullah Elagha CBS

They plan to continue their non-violent demonstration during the conference as well.

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who has been asked to speak at the event, said he opposes any effort to intimidate speakers or attendees.

A spokesperson for Polis issued the following statement:

"Governor Polis states regarding the crisis abroad that 'These evil acts of terrorism are our greatest fears brought to life. We need to come together and take on hate and bias because we know that in Colorado, hate for Jews, Muslims, or Christians, for anyone, cannot find a home here in the state of Colorado. Governor Polis strongly believes that Israel has a right to defend its citizens against Hamas and to respond to the brutal murder of hundreds of Israeli citizens, and to work to facilitate the return of hundreds of hostages. Here in Colorado, he has made it clear that hate against Jews, Muslims, or Christians will not be tolerated and that includes ensuring that any effort to intimidate or prevent people from speaking to a group of Jewish Americans convening in Denver does not succeed.'"


Elagha, says rhetoric that frames the "Free Palestine" movement as violent is leading to hate crimes in the Arab and Muslim communities.

"Like those kids that were shot in Vermont, like that 6-year-old child that was stabbed in the suburbs of Chicago," said Elagha. "Because we're out here, we're in keffiyehs and we're a bunch of Arabs, suddenly we're violent? I think that narrative in and of itself is extremely racist. We have been out in the streets for almost two months now. Not one of our actions have been violent."

RELATED: 3 Palestinian students shot in Burlington, Vermont, police say


Elagha says they just want their voices heard and asks for anyone wishing to attend one of their protests to do so peacefully.

"We welcome people to come in and join," he said. "But our message is that we are here to educate people and we are here in peace."

The Colorado Palestinian Coalition said it will host the following events this week through Sunday:

Thursday, Nov. 30

  • 7 to 9 p.m. film screening: "My Tree" Documentary at Tivoli Turnhalle, Auraria Campus

Friday, Dec. 1

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all-day picket at the Colorado Convention Center
  • 2 p.m. DPS Students for Palestine walk out and march at the Colorado Convention Center
  • 5 to 8 p.m. Free Palestine teach-in at the Auraria Campus with multiple concurrent sessions with activists, authors and experts from across the country
  • The exact locations and schedule have not yet been announced

Saturday, Dec. 2

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all-day picket at the Colorado Convention Center
  • 1 p.m. rally and march at the Colorado State Capitol
  • 7 p.m. film screening: "Gaza Fights for Freedom" featuring one of the film's producers, Mike Prysner @ St. Cateljan's, Auraria Campus

Sunday, Dec. 3

  • 11 a.m. car rally @ Auraria Campus, exact location to be announced
  • 11:30 a.m. "Jews Against Genocide!" event, sponsored by Denver-Boulder Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Location to be announced
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