(Lander, WY) – A group of Fremont County and Wind River Reservation community members who “believe that violence against Palestinian people is legally unjustified and morally shameful” is holding a demonstration in Lander’s Centennial Park (2nd and Main) tomorrow, Nov. 18, beginning at 10 a.m.
The group Fremont County Ceasefire Now (FCCN) shared in a public statement that their “call to end the violence in Palestine is not about condemning Hamas, but instead, condemning the violent colonial forces that created the organization in the first place.”
The conflict goes back to the early 1900s, according to this ABC News article.
“The Balfour Declaration, issued by the British government in 1917, announced Britain’s promise for a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ in Palestine, which was then under the rule of the Ottoman Empire,” the article states.
This mandate did not take into account the Palestinians who resided on the land and wanted independence.
There have been wars and uprisings since then.
Currently, there have been thousands of deaths and thousands of injuries since the militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and a total siege of the Gaza Strip, home to roughly 2.3 million Palestinians.
FCCN shared in their statement that they “refuse to be silent on this crisis. We will not be made complicit in the ongoing colonial genocide against Palestinian people, just as we will not allow the violence we see daily against Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ people in Fremont County. We demand that our local and state governments publicly resist this genocide.”
The demonstration in Lander is open to the public and is expected to last until 3 p.m.
Below are some details about the demonstration from FCCN organizers:
“Anyone who opposes violence against the Indigenous peoples of the world who wishes to join us in community mourning, a show of solidarity, and the sharing of information on the bitter fruits of centuries of settler-colonial violence, offered from a non-european-american perspective, is invited to attend.
“Attendees are encouraged to wear black for mourning, and may bring signs and flags articulating support for the Palestinian people. Those who own a keffiyeh may wear one. In light of recent events involving instances of targeted doxxing in other cities, we also encourage attendees to bring a face covering (a KN95 mask works well) to obscure their identity in case they are photographed without consent.
“This event is expressly structured to be a peaceful gathering. Unfortunately, in light of recent violence against similar domestic movements advocating for an end to the ongoing genocide, and in consideration of Fremont County’s extensive history of disproportional prejudice and violence against targeted members of our communities, we are aware that some citizens of Lander may harbor a vitriolic hostility toward our cause, and those of us working to support it. We recognize that there may be counter-protestors present at this event. There may be arguments that start, and some genuinely rancid sentiments may be shared openly. Because we are committed to maintaining a peaceful, and most importantly pensive environment for our community to gather, listen and learn, we ask that if you are planning on joining us at this event, come prepared to offer a level head and an open heart. Solidarity, not divisiveness, is our path to an end to suffering.”