Pro-Palestinian protests move to San Jose

January 4, 2009 6:35:35 PM PST
Pro-Palestinian supporters in the Bay Area moved their protests from San Francisco to the South Bay for the first time Sunday.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at the corner of Winchester and Stevens Creek Boulevards in San Jose, chanting and carrying signs for their cause.

"We're trying to raise awareness mainly. We want people to see that this is going on and it's a humanitarian crisis. Regardless of politics, regardless of religion, there's people dying," said Karima Al-Helew.

The demonstrators then marched peacefully through the streets to Santana Row.

This is the first time pro-Palestinian demonstrators have staged a protest in the South Bay. It follows a week of demonstrations in San Francisco that stopped downtown traffic during rush hour.

On Friday, four by-standers carrying Israeli flags faced off with demonstrators. Police quickly ushered them indoors before the problems escalated.

Demonstrators warn that Sunday's protest in San Jose is not the last. They are upset about the civilian deaths in Gaza and they are calling on Israel to stop their attacks.

"And, if they don't, we'll keep on protesting," said Al-Helew.

Protesters say they are planning another march in San Francisco next Saturday. It will begin at the Civic Center Plaza at 11:00 in the morning.