A massive crowd of over 50,000 protesters took to the streets of Washington, DC on Saturday demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Chanting “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,” the impassioned rally targeted President Joe Biden for his unwavering support of Israel amid growing international calls for peace.
The demonstration comes as the death toll in Gaza climbs past 9,488 according to health officials in the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave. Israel’s punishing bombardment was launched in retaliation for rocket attacks on its southern towns by Hamas forces in early October.
With no end in sight, the situation has alarmed UN experts who warn of a rising risk of genocide as Gaza’s civilian population faces annihilation. Under the UN’s Genocide Convention, intent to destroy a national or ethnic group through killings and measures to prevent births constitutes genocide.
Despite the carnage, the Biden administration has resisted demands to rein in Israel’s military campaign. While calling for Israel to “minimize” civilian casualties, Biden insists he will not impose any “red lines” on the conduct of its ally. He has also requested over $14 billion in new military aid for Israel from Congress to fund the Gaza offensive.
Protesters Demand America Stop Enabling “Genocide” in Gaza
The massive turnout and visceral outrage in Washington signal a major shift in public opinion. Protesters accused Biden of complicity in enabling genocide against Palestinians.
“Stop the war! Stop the bombing! Stop the genocide in Gaza!” protesters chanted as the rally overflowed from Freedom Plaza near the White House to the U.S. Capitol. Many called for ending U.S. military assistance to Israel.
“Biden, Biden you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” demonstrators shouted, placing blame for Palestinian deaths squarely on the White House.
The diverse crowd of all ages voiced anguish over images of suffering coming out of Gaza. “My family in Gaza is experiencing constant bombardment with no safe place in the entire territory,” said Nidaa, a protester who asked that her last name not be used.
David Horowitz, a Jewish-American activist, called the onslaught an “abomination” and slammed Biden’s push for “humanitarian pauses” as woefully inadequate. “We should be calling for a ceasefire, and instead they’re talking about a ‘pause’ which isn’t a real stoppage of anything,” he said.
US Support for Israel Draws Ire: “We Don’t Want Blood on Our Hands”
Many protesters affirmed that U.S. complicity in the Gaza crisis has changed their views.
Ayan Yusuf, who traveled from Boston, said the Biden administration fails to see Palestinians’ humanity. “What Israel and the United States are doing is not self-defense, it’s genocide. And we don’t support that regardless of religion or agenda. We are all human beings,” Yusuf said.
Others pledged to withdraw support for Biden and Democrats over enabling the humanitarian disaster. “They have no more votes from me or my family or anybody. It’s done,” said Maria Habib, a demonstrator dressed in traditional Palestinian attire.
Eisha Raja dismissed the White House’s new push to combat Islamophobia as a “despicable distraction” from the carnage in Gaza. “We don’t want to send any tax dollars to Israel anymore. We don’t want to be supporting genocide with blood on our hands,” Raja said.
Nakba Survivor Warns of Looming Palestinian Displacement from Gaza
For 85-year-old Siham Alfred, the assault on Gaza raises chilling echoes of mass expulsion. Alfred was forced from her home as a child during Israel’s violent creation in 1948 — known as the Nakba (Catastrophe) by Palestinians.
Now Alfred fears Israel seeks to displace Palestinians from Gaza again. “Shame on them, they are racist. They do not believe Palestinians are equal to Israelis,” she said. Alfred denounced Biden as a “coward and criminal,” pledging never to vote for him.
Her outrage was widely shared among protesters. The rally brought condemnation of Biden and Western leaders for enabling what many see as unchecked war crimes and human rights violations against Palestinians.
With Washington unwilling to exert meaningful pressure for a ceasefire, the prospects for peace remain dim. But the massive turnout signals growing opposition to America’s role in the crisis. Galvanized by images of human devastation and defiance in Gaza, protesters are demanding a change in U.S. policy toward Israeli aggression. Unless that happens, more conflict appears inevitable.
While the path forward remains uncertain, one thing is clear: grassroots voices for the human rights of Palestinians are only growing louder. Their moral outrage may yet shake the corridors of power — in Gaza, Jerusalem and Washington, DC.