Bay Area United Against War Newsletter, May 17, 2024




As Israel’s genocidal assault on Rafah escalates, join in solidarity with millions of Palestinians around the world who are rising to demand an END to the 76 year-long Nakba. Join us to demand an END to Israel’s war on Gaza. Demand an END to US complicity in Israel’s occupation, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes against the Palestinian people.


May of each year commemorates the anniversary of the Nakba, in which over 800,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homelands by Zionist terrorists and settlers. The Nakba continues to this day. We are also over 220 days into Israel’s barbaric assault on Gaza, where they intend to ethnically cleanse over 2 million Palestinians living there. And the US government has backed the 76-year-long Nakba, and the genocide in Gaza with weapons, lies, and political support.


We refuse to allow our government to continue to be complicit in these crimes against Palestinians and against humanity. People around the world are rising to demand their schools, communities, and governments divest from Israel. Working people are refusing to allow their labor to supply and resource the occupation of Palestine. Israel is a rogue state, whose backers in the US government are more isolated than ever. The tide is turning and we will see a FREE PALESTINE within our lifetime.


The JVP contingent will meet at 1:40 P.M. under the circular staircase outside of Posh Bagel, 4 Embarcadero Center, Harry Bridges Plaza in San Francisco (also known as Embarcadero Plaza) across from the Ferry Building. Look for our banners.


Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization working towards Palestinian freedom and Judaism beyond Zionism. It's the largest such organization in the world. Become a member of JVP national.

Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area

P.O. Box 589, Berkeley, CA 94701 USA

1 (510) 255-0058




Free Them All! Free Palestine!

Divest from Israel! Free Torture Survivors, The Wrongfully Convicted, and All Political Prisoners!


Date: Sunday May 19

Time: 3:00 P.M.

Location: 1160 N Larrabee St, Chicago, IL


MARK YOUR CALENDARS. We’re calling a demonstration May 19th at 3:00 P.M. here in Chicago bringing together the struggles to free torture survivors, the wrongfully convicted, and ALL political prisoners with the struggle to free Palestine! Join us as we unite our movements and raise our demands on the powers that be! Free Them All! Free Palestine!



Learn More About the March on the DNC here

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Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

6353 S Cottage Grove Ave

Chicago, IL 60637

United States




9:00 A.M. 

Location: MECA office, 1101 8th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Join us Sunday, July 21 for our Third Annual Ride for Palestine, a day of solidarity along the 14-mile scenic San Francisco Bay. The ride is designed to be enjoyable for cyclists of all skill levels and the post-Ride event, Gather for Gaza will include delicious Palestinian food, music, dancing, and more.


All funds raised this year will support MECA’s emergency work in Gaza–where the situation is dire and your support is more important than ever. Thanks to the efforts of our community, MECA’s 2022 and 2023 Rides for Palestine were a huge success, together raising more than $125,000 in support of our ongoing work in Palestine.


Help us reach our 2024 Ride for Palestine goal of $150,000 by registering today:



With your support, we can deliver food and other necessities and send a powerful message of solidarity to Gaza.


Ride for Palestinian children. Ride for solidarity. Ride for Gaza.


If you're not in the Bay Area or are not available July 21 but would like to participate you can register at a discounted rate as a Virtual Participant and ride, walk, swim, or even bake cookies for Palestine–you can decide what your fundraising activity looks like. Check out our Ride from Anywhere page to learn more.


Ride from anywhere:



Get involved in this year’s event at RideforPalestine.com and feel free to reach out to the MECA team by emailing us at info@rideforpalestine.com. 


#GatherforGaza #RideforPalestine #MECAforPeace



Greetings to U.S. students from Gaza: "Thank you students in Solidarity with Gaza, your message has reached.” May 1, 2024 (Screenshot)

‘Operation al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 223:


The total number of Palestinians killed by Israel is now over 35,272, with 79,205 wounded.*  

More than 503 Palestinians have been killed and 4,600 wounded by Israel in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**  

—Israel lowers its estimated October 7 death toll from 1,400 to 1,139—626 Israeli soldiers killed since ground invasion, 6,800 wounded***

Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on May 9,2024. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on May 16, 2024—this is the latest figure.

*** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” The number of Israeli soldiers wounded, according to Israeli media reports, exceeds 6,800 as of April 1.

Source: mondoweiss.net




Boris Kagarlitsky is in Prison!

On February 13, the court overturned the previous decision on release and sent Boris Kagarlitsky to prison for five years.

Petition in Support of Boris Kagarlitsky

We, the undersigned, were deeply shocked to learn that on February 13 the leading Russian socialist intellectual and antiwar activist Dr. Boris Kagarlitsky (65) was sentenced to five years in prison.

Dr. Kagarlitsky was arrested on the absurd charge of 'justifying terrorism' in July last year. After a global campaign reflecting his worldwide reputation as a writer and critic of capitalism and imperialism, his trial ended on December 12 with a guilty verdict and a fine of 609,000 roubles.

The prosecution then appealed against the fine as 'unjust due to its excessive leniency' and claimed falsely that Dr. Kagarlitsky was unable to pay the fine and had failed to cooperate with the court. In fact, he had paid the fine in full and provided the court with everything it requested.

On February 13 a military court of appeal sent him to prison for five years and banned him from running a website for two years after his release.

The reversal of the original court decision is a deliberate insult to the many thousands of activists, academics, and artists around the world who respect Dr. Kagarlitsky and took part in the global campaign for his release. The section of Russian law used against Dr. Kagarlitsky effectively prohibits free expression. The decision to replace the fine with imprisonment was made under a completely trumped-up pretext. Undoubtedly, the court's action represents an attempt to silence criticism in the Russian Federation of the government's war in Ukraine, which is turning the country into a prison.

The sham trial of Dr. Kagarlitsky is the latest in a wave of brutal repression against the left-wing movements in Russia. Organizations that have consistently criticized imperialism, Western and otherwise, are now under direct attack, many of them banned. Dozens of activists are already serving long terms simply because they disagree with the policies of the Russian government and have the courage to speak up. Many of them are tortured and subjected to life-threatening conditions in Russian penal colonies, deprived of basic medical care. Left-wing politicians are forced to flee Russia, facing criminal charges. International trade unions such as IndustriALL and the International Transport Federation are banned and any contact with them will result in long prison sentences.

There is a clear reason for this crackdown on the Russian left. The heavy toll of the war gives rise to growing discontent among the mass of working people. The poor pay for this massacre with their lives and wellbeing, and opposition to war is consistently highest among the poorest. The left has the message and resolve to expose the connection between imperialist war and human suffering.

Dr. Kagarlitsky has responded to the court's outrageous decision with calm and dignity: “We just need to live a little longer and survive this dark period for our country,” he said. Russia is nearing a period of radical change and upheaval, and freedom for Dr. Kagarlitsky and other activists is a condition for these changes to take a progressive course.

We demand that Boris Kagarlitsky and all other antiwar prisoners be released immediately and unconditionally.

We also call on the authorities of the Russian Federation to reverse their growing repression of dissent and respect their citizens' freedom of speech and right to protest.

Sign to Demand the Release of Boris Kagarlitsky


The petition is also available on Change.org



*Major Announcement*

Claudia De la Cruz wins

Peace and Freedom Party primary in California!

We have an exciting announcement. The votes are still being counted in California, but the Claudia-Karina “Vote Socialist” campaign has achieved a clear and irreversible lead in the Peace and Freedom Party primary. Based on the current count, Claudia has 46% of the vote compared to 40% for Cornel West. A significant majority of PFP’s newly elected Central Committee, which will formally choose the nominee at its August convention, have also pledged their support to the Claudia-Karina campaign.


We are excited to campaign in California now and expect Claudia De la Cruz to be the candidate on the ballot of the Peace and Freedom Party in November.


We achieved another big accomplishment this week - we’re officially on the ballot in Hawai’i! This comes after also petitioning to successfully gain ballot access in Utah. We are already petitioning in many other states. Each of these achievements is powered by the tremendous effort of our volunteers and grassroots organizers across the country. When we’re organized, people power can move mountains!


We need your help to keep the momentum going. Building a campaign like this takes time, energy, and money. We know that our class enemies — the billionaires, bankers, and CEO’s — put huge sums toward loyal politicians and other henchmen who defend their interests. They will use all the money and power at their disposal to stop movements like ours. As an independent, socialist party, our campaign is relying on contributions from the working class and people like you.


We call on each and every one of our supporters to set up a monthly or one-time donation to support this campaign to help it keep growing and reaching more people. A new socialist movement, independent of the Democrats and Republicans, is being built but it will only happen when we all pitch in.


The Claudia-Karina campaign calls to end all U.S. aid to Israel. End this government’s endless wars. We want jobs for all, with union representation and wages that let us live with dignity. Housing, healthcare, and education for all - without the lifelong debt. End the ruthless attacks on women, Black people, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. These are just some of the demands that are resonating across the country. Help us take the next step: 


Volunteer: https://votesocialist2024.com/volunteer


Donate: https://votesocialist2024.com/donate


See you in the streets,


Claudia & Karina


Don't Forget! Join our telegram channel for regular updates: https://t.me/+KtYBAKgX51JhNjMx




Free Julian Assange

Immediate Repeated Action Needed to Free Assange


Please call your Congressional Representatives, the White House, and the DOJ. Calls are tallied—they do count.  We are to believe we are represented in this country.  This is a political case, so our efforts can change things politically as well.  Please take this action as often as you can:


Find your representatives:



Leave each of your representatives a message individually to: 

·      Drop the charges against Julian Assange

·      Speak out publicly against the indictment and

·      Sign on to Rashida Tlaib's letter to the DOJ to drop the charges: 

           202-224-3121—Capitol Main Switchboard 


Leave a message on the White House comment line to 

Demand Julian Assange be pardoned: 


             Tuesday–Thursday, 11:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M. EST


Call the DOJ and demand they drop the charges against Julian Assange:

             202-353-1555—DOJ Comment Line

             202-514-2000 Main Switchboard 

Sign the petition:




Mumia Abu-Jamal is Innocent!


Write to Mumia at:

Smart Communications/PADOC

Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM-8335

SCI Mahanoy

P.O. Box 33028

St. Petersburg, FL 33733

Join the Fight for Mumia's Life

Since September, Mumia Abu-Jamal's health has been declining at a concerning rate. He has lost weight, is anemic, has high blood pressure and an extreme flair up of his psoriasis, and his hair has fallen out. In April 2021 Mumia underwent open heart surgery. Since then, he has been denied cardiac rehabilitation care including a healthy diet and exercise.

Donate to Mumia Abu-Jamal's Emergency Legal and Medical Defense Fund, Official 2024

Mumia has instructed PrisonRadio to set up this fund. Gifts donated here are designated for the Mumia Abu-Jamal Medical and Legal Defense Fund. If you are writing a check or making a donation in another way, note this in the memo line.

Send to:

 Mumia Medical and Legal Fund c/o Prison Radio

P.O. Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94103

Prison Radio is a project of the Redwood Justice Fund (RJF), which is a California 501c3 (Tax ID no. 680334309) not-for-profit foundation dedicated to the defense of the environment and of civil and human rights secured by law.  Prison Radio/Redwood Justice Fund PO Box 411074, San Francisco, CA 94141



Leonard Peltier “Why?” (Henry CrowDog)

Write to:

Leonard Peltier 89637-132

USP Coleman 1

P.O. Box 1033

Coleman, FL 33521

Note: Letters, address and return address must be in writing—no stickers—and on plain white paper.

Video at:


Sign our petition urging President Biden to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier:




Email: contact@whoisleonardpeltier.info

Address: 116 W. Osborne Ave. Tampa, Florida 33603



Updates From Kevin Cooper 

A Never-ending Constitutional Violation

A summary of the current status of Kevin Cooper’s case by the Kevin Cooper Defense Committee


      On October 26, 2023, the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP wrote a rebuttal in response to the Special Counsel's January 13, 2023 report upholding the conviction of their client Kevin Cooper. A focus of the rebuttal was that all law enforcement files were not turned over to the Special Counsel during their investigation, despite a request for them to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office.

      On October 29, 2023, Law Professors Lara Bazelon and Charlie Nelson Keever, who run the six member panel that reviews wrongful convictions for the San Francisco County District Attorney's office, published an OpEd in the San Francisco Chronicle calling the "Innocence Investigation” done by the Special Counsel in the Cooper case a “Sham Investigation” largely because Cooper has unsuccessfully fought for years to obtain the police and prosecutor files in his case. This is a Brady claim, named for the U.S. Supreme court’s 1963 case establishing the Constitutional rule that defendants are entitled to any information in police and prosecutor's possession that could weaken the state's case or point to innocence. Brady violations are a leading cause of wrongful convictions. The Special Counsel's report faults Cooper for not offering up evidence of his own despite the fact that the best evidence to prove or disprove Brady violations or other misconduct claims are in those files that the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office will not turn over to the Special Counsel or to Cooper's attorneys.

      On December 14, 2023, the president of the American Bar Association (ABA), Mary Smith, sent Governor Gavin Newsom a three page letter on behalf of the ABA stating in part that Mr.Cooper's counsel objected to the state's failure to provide Special Counsel all documents in their possession relating to Mr.Cooper's conviction, and that concerns about missing information are not new. For nearly 40 years Mr.Cooper's attorneys have sought this same information from the state.

      On December 19, 2023, Bob Egelko, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article about the ABA letter to the Governor that the prosecutors apparently withheld evidence from the Governor's legal team in the Cooper case.

      These are just a few recent examples concerning the ongoing failure of the San Bernardino County District Attorney to turn over to Cooper's attorney's the files that have been requested, even though under the law and especially the U.S. Constitution, the District Attorney of San Bernardino county is required to turn over to the defendant any and all material and or exculpatory evidence that they have in their files. Apparently, they must have something in their files because they refuse to turn them over to anyone.

      The last time Cooper's attorney's received files from the state, in 2004, it wasn't from the D.A. but a Deputy Attorney General named Holly Wilkens in Judge Huff's courtroom. Cooper's attorneys discovered a never before revealed police report showing that a shirt was discovered that had blood on it and was connected to the murders for which Cooper was convicted, and that the shirt had disappeared. It had never been tested for blood. It was never turned over to Cooper's trial attorney, and no one knows where it is or what happened to it. Cooper's attorneys located the woman who found that shirt on the side of the road and reported it to the Sheriff's Department. She was called to Judge Huff's court to testify about finding and reporting that shirt to law enforcement. That shirt was the second shirt found that had blood on it that was not the victims’ blood. This was in 2004, 19 years after Cooper's conviction.

      It appears that this ongoing constitutional violation that everyone—from the Special Counsel to the Governor's legal team to the Governor himself—seems to know about, but won't do anything about, is acceptable in order to uphold Cooper's conviction.

But this type of thing is supposed to be unacceptable in the United States of America where the Constitution is supposed to stand for something other than a piece of paper with writing on it. How can a Governor, his legal team, people who support and believe in him ignore a United States citizen’s Constitutional Rights being violated for 40 years in order to uphold a conviction?

      This silence is betrayal of the Constitution. This permission and complicity by the Governor and his team is against everything that he and they claim to stand for as progressive politicians. They have accepted the Special Counsel's report even though the Special Counsel did not receive the files from the district attorney that may not only prove that Cooper is innocent, but that he was indeed framed by the Sheriff’s Department; and that evidence was purposely destroyed and tampered with, that certain witnesses were tampered with, or ignored if they had information that would have helped Cooper at trial, that evidence that the missing shirt was withheld from Cooper's trial attorney, and so much more.

      Is the Governor going to get away with turning a blind eye to this injustice under his watch?

      Are progressive people going to stay silent and turn their eyes blind in order to hopefully get him to end the death penalty for some while using Cooper as a sacrificial lamb?

An immediate act of solidarity we can all do right now is to write to Kevin and assure him of our continuing support in his fight for justice. Here’s his address:

Mr. Kevin Cooper

C-65304. 4-EB-82

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, CA 94974


Call California Governor Newsom:

1-(916) 445-2841

Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, 

press 6 to speak with a representative and

wait for someone to answer 

(Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PST—12:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. EST)




The writers' organization PEN America is circulating this petition on behalf of Jason Renard Walker, a Texas prisoner whose life is being threatened because of his exposés of the Texas prison system. 

See his book, Reports from within the Belly of the Beast; available on Amazon at:


Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/protect-whistleblowers-in-carceral-settings



Daniel Hale UPDATE:  


In February Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale was transferred from the oppressive maximum-security prison in Marion, Illinois to house confinement.  We celebrate his release from Marion.  He is laying low right now, recovering from nearly 3 years in prison.  Thank goodness he is now being held under much more humane conditions and expected to complete his sentence in July of this year.     www.StandWithDaniel Hale.org


More Info about Daniel:


“Drone Whistleblower Subjected To Harsh Confinement Finally Released From Prison” 



“I was punished under the Espionage Act. Why wasn’t Joe Biden?”  by Daniel Hale




Resources for Resisting Federal Repression



Since June of 2020, activists have been subjected to an increasingly aggressive crackdown on protests by federal law enforcement. The federal response to the movement for Black Lives has included federal criminal charges for activists, door knocks by federal law enforcement agents, and increased use of federal troops to violently police protests. 


The NLG National Office is releasing this resource page for activists who are resisting federal repression. It includes a link to our emergency hotline numbers, as well as our library of Know-Your-Rights materials, our recent federal repression webinar, and a list of some of our recommended resources for activists. We will continue to update this page. 


Please visit the NLG Mass Defense Program page for general protest-related legal support hotlines run by NLG chapters.


Emergency Hotlines

If you are contacted by federal law enforcement, you should exercise all of your rights. It is always advisable to speak to an attorney before responding to federal authorities. 


State and Local Hotlines

If you have been contacted by the FBI or other federal law enforcement, in one of the following areas, you may be able to get help or information from one of these local NLG hotlines for: 


Portland, Oregon: (833) 680-1312

San Francisco, California: (415) 285-1041 or fbi_hotline@nlgsf.org

Seattle, Washington: (206) 658-7963

National Hotline

If you are located in an area with no hotline, you can call the following number:


National NLG Federal Defense Hotline: (212) 679-2811






1) Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

Why the world’s working class must organize a bold defense of our lives if we are to survive

By Bonnie Weinstein


Thousands of labor representatives marched Saturday, December 16, in Oakland, California. —Photo by Leon Kunstenaar

“Never was it so clear as it is today that the salvation of the Jewish people is bound up inseparably with the overthrow of the capitalist system.” —Leon Trotsky, 1940.1


April 18, 2024—Over 34 thousand Palestinians have been killed by the U.S./Israel genocidal war on Palestine—not counting those still missing and buried under the rubble. And the killing goes on with the unconditional U.S. financial and military support to Israel paid for by the taxes collected from us, the working class.


We have no say in how much money is taken from our paycheck, or at the checkout counter, or how our taxes are spent. We have no say on whether to go to war, or how much money our schools get, or how much we must pay for healthcare, or how much we should be paid for our labor.


The capitalist system allows us no control over these issues that affect us so profoundly.


Our only effective option is to organize ourselves into unions and an independent, unified, democratically-functioning organization devoted to fighting for our right to life, liberty, social and economic equality—and finally, an end to capitalism and its perpetual wars for wealth and power.


The war on Gaza—a microcosm of capitalist aggression around the world

With over 34,000 Palestinians killed so far, the ratio between Palestinian and Israeli deaths is 20:1— approximately 34,000 Palestinians to 1700 Israelis2—and the U.S./Israeli genocide is far from over. Biden has promised his unconditional support to Israel because it is, in essence, a strategic U.S. military base in the region.


There are people who believe that Israel controls the U.S. but that cannot be further from the truth. Without U.S. support—both financially (at least $3.8 billion annually) and militarily. The U.S. has massive amounts of U.S. weapons, equipment, and supplies, under their sole command and control, inside Israel. The U.S. has made sure that Israel is the most powerful military force in the region—a region full of oil and other natural resources crucial to U.S. industry—and it is nuclear-armed.


While Biden has cried crocodile tears over the ten’s-of-thousands of Palestinian deaths—including over 14,000 children—he does not waver on his devotion to the apartheid state of Israel, and neither do the Republicans.


The problem with capitalism and the parties that represent them, is that the war and the brutality war brings is felt both by those who do the fighting and those who are their targets—but not to the capitalist class who commands the wars.


They, and their sons and daughters, do not fight and die in war. They command and profit from war and death, and the destruction of their enemies.


Anyone who challenges their power and rule anywhere in the world will not be met with reason and generosity, but with the finality of not just death, but the destruction of the infrastructures of life-support itself—of schools, hospitals, roads, buildings, farms, industry, transportation, water, power—the total ruin of the means of survival.


This is what’s happening to Gaza right now. If the war stopped right now the people of Palestine would still have nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.


And make no mistake about it, it is a warning to the entire world of what the commanders of capital are willing to do to maintain their control of the wealth they have stolen from the masses of working people everywhere.


The plight of the dispossessed

In a March 28, 2024, New York Times article by Emily Baumgaertner, titled, “Health Concerns Mount for Migrant Children at Outdoor Holding Sites,3” I was stunned by a photograph from the article showing a makeshift tent filled with women and children sheltering on a dirt floor. It could have been a photo from Rafa!


The article centers on “…an open-air holding site in San Diego’s rural Mountain Empire, to provide volunteer medical care to asylum seekers who had breached the United States-Mexico border wall and were waiting to be apprehended by American authorities.”


According to the article:


“With the capacity at immigration processing centers strained, migrants, including unaccompanied children, are waiting for hours—sometimes days—in outdoor holding areas, where a lack of shelter, food, and sanitation infrastructure has triggered an array of public health concerns for the most vulnerable.”


The difference between the people in Gaza and the occupied territories, and the people held in San Diego, is that the people in Gaza have no more homes to go to, while the people in San Diego had to flee their homeland to avoid death and brutality. In the end, neither have anywhere else to go.


Tens-of-millions of people across the globe are suffering conditions of war and poverty causing them to flee their homelands.


And, in the countries where they flee to, they suffer, not only from the high cost of living—the high price of food, housing, healthcare and education—but they are also the targets of police violence and racism. They soon find out they only have access to the lowest paying jobs, the most underfunded schools, and the most run-down housing—if they are fortunate enough to have jobs, schools or housing at all.


These are the conditions of the working class, not only in the poorest countries in the world, but in the richest.


These conditions exist everywhere because it is endemic to capitalism—a system based on the economic exploitation of masses of humanity for the benefit of the capitalist class—the elite few who are the owners of the means of production.


They own the land, the factories, farms, and the natural resources needed to operate them. And they own the labor power of the masses of workers who create that wealth with their skill, intelligence, blood, sweat, and tears.


Capitalism depends on antisemitism and bigotry

When a small child asks why there is so much greed, violence, and injustice in the world, they are told that those qualities are part of human nature—they have always been with us and always will be.


But these traits are not natural to humans, they are the direct product of class society.


By blaming these traits on human nature, they are blaming the masses for the crimes against humanity the ruling class has been committing for centuries.


The following quote from the book, The Radical Jewish Tradition: Revolutionaries, Resistance Fighters and Firebrands, By Donny Gluckstein and Janey Stone, sums this up well:


“These were forces of evil that mankind has feared and has tried to rein in with civilization since the dawn of time. Blaming any oppressed group or human nature for oppression itself exonerates the social system from any responsibility.”4


The capitalist class serves itself by pitting workers against each other—getting us to blame others of our own class who suffer the same or worse economic hardships—instead of blaming capitalism’s tyrannical system of economic exploitation and expropriation of wealth from the working masses who create it.


The power of solidarity

A majority of Americans are opposed to Israel’s military actions in Gaza according to a new Gallup poll released March 27, 2024:


“In a survey conducted from March 1-20, 55 percent of U.S. adults said they disapproved of Israel’s military actions—a jump of ten percentage points from four months earlier, Gallup found. Americans’ approval of Israel’s conduct in the war dropped by an even starker margin, from 50 percent in November, a month after the war began, to 36 percent in March…”5


Massive demonstrations here in the U.S. and all over the world show that the U.S./Israel genocide of the people of Palestine is exposing to masses of people the extent to which capitalism—the most powerful dictatorship of the wealthy over the poor that has ever existed—will go to maintain its dominance over land and resources anywhere their economic interests lie, regardless of the mayhem it brings to masses of people, their land, infrastructure, or their well-being, in general.


It’s a class thing

The Democratic and Republican parties are the parties of the ruling class—they do not represent the working class—the overwhelming majority of the people.


Their very existence depends upon convincing us that our only choice is to choose between them—between two capitalist parties whose only interest is to maintain the status quo—keeping us voting for a “lesser evil,” either from the right or the left of the political spectrum.


Then they tell us to believe that this is how it’s always been in America and that this system, whose leaders rule through the threat of death and destruction of the planet itself, is the greatest democracy in the world.


More importantly, they want us to believe human society can’t exist without a ruling class—that because of “human nature,” workers are incapable of democratically controlling the means of production in a way that benefits everyone because war and greed are in our nature.


The opposite is true. And the masses rising up in opposition the U.S./Israeli genocide against the people of Palestine proves that repulsion to war, greed and mass destruction is the natural human condition.


The collective fight against war, racism, sexism, and bigotry of all kinds is dependent upon the creation of independent workers’ organizations dedicated to ending the tyranny of capitalism everywhere it exists in the world.


If we do not end capitalism, it will end us. A socialist transformation of the world is our only hope for building a future for all of us.


1 On the Jewish Question, Paperback, December 31, 1970, by Leon Trotsky, Pathfinder Press, Out of Print




2 As of April 18, 2024, By Mondoweiss Palestine Bureau: Over 34,438 Palestinians (including in the West Bank and all occupied territories)/1,743 Israelis (including those killed on October 7, 2023=19.757887.)




3 https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/28/health/children-migrants-border-health.html


4 The Radical Jewish Tradition: Revolutionaries, Resistance Fighters and Firebrands, Paperback—January 25, 2024, Page 17




by Donny Gluckstein (Author), Janey Stone (Author)


5 “A majority of Americans disapprove of Israel’s actions in Gaza, a new poll shows,” By Anushka Patil, March 28, 2024





2) Palestinians Deserve to Survive. The Zionist State—Never

By Chris Kinder


Two tanks kick up dust.

Israeli tanks near the border with Gaza in southern Israel on Monday. Credit...Jack Guez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

April 8, 2024—The U.S./Israel war on Gaza rages on, now in its sixth month, and shows no sign of abatement. Israel is pursuing its long-held goal, by any means necessary, of forcing the indigenous Palestinians out of what they view is their land including forced evacuation, starvation, and outright mass murder. And the U.S. government is in this up to its eyeballs, which is why it is a U.S./Israel war. The U.S. doesn’t have “boots on the ground,” but without the funding and supplies of weapons and ammunition and the U.S., there would be no war.


Israel’s many attacks on Palestinians

Although Israel has mounted many attacks including invasions against Gaza which have slaughtered thousands of civilians along with military in the past, this war is for the first time killing more civilians by far than it has fighters. This genocide is a challenge to the whole world: will this mass murder of a whole people, tens-of-thousands killed so far—as you read this going into its seventh month—be allowed to continue unabated?


This would be much harder to do without U.S. heavy weapons sent to Israel soon after the October 7th attack by Hamas, which included 2,000 pound “bunker buster” bombs designed to blow up fortified infrastructure. The U.S. gladly continues to send these bombs, which Israel is using to turn neighborhoods into huge piles of rubble with dead humans buried in them. Meanwhile, Israel has targeted over 60 percent of homes and residential buildings in the Strip. The bombing of the Al-Taj tower in Gaza City on October 25th killed 101, mostly women and children, and injured hundreds, and it doesn’t avoid refugee camps either, such as its attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp on October.


Israel says its enemies are “human animals”

Israel’s war is a little like prison guards murdering prisoners by shooting them through the bars, because the Gaza Strip—the most densely populated place on Earth—is an open-air prison with no escape route.


So far, Israel has obliterated about 80 percent of medical facilities, 68 percent of telecommunication infrastructure, as well as half of the roads and commercial, industrial, and agricultural centers throughout the Gaza Strip. Most of these facilities were occupied by civilians and had no military value. The municipal and governmental facilities destroyed undoubtedly contained Hamas operatives, but most of them would be government officials, not fighters, as Hamas was duly elected to govern. This fact is ignored in almost all U.S. media reports, many of which refer to Hamas’ rule as the result of a “coup.”


Who do you believe?

The question of Hamas coming to power legally or through a coup d’état is just one more reason to beware of lies told in wars. So, what is the evidence in this case? In 2006, elections were held in Palestine on local levels and for seats in the Legislative Council (PAL), the ruling body of the Palestinian National Authority (PAN). Although Hamas had boycotted the previous election, it entered this one as the “Change and Reform” list against Fatah and five others. Hamas won 74 out of 132 seats as against 45 for Fatah. Independents won four, and most others none. The election was overseen by over 17 thousand domestic observers, complemented by 900 credentialed international monitors.


An exit poll of voters showed that large majorities of those asked said that corruption would decrease under Hamas. Large majorities said that there should be a national unity government, and rejected Fatah’s refusal to support unity, the majority also said yes to “under Hamas, internal security will improve.” Interestingly, majorities said yes to support for a peace agreement with Israel, which is a stark shot away from Hamas’ position that Israel has no right to exist.1


The 2006 election was deemed to be honest by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in partnership with the Carter Center, and a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report to Congress which concluded that the election was free and fair.


A worsening of genocide

As I write this, several events are thought to represent a turning point in this genocidal war. First is Israel’s second invasion of Al Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, a complex of buildings located in Gaza City in the north. The first invasion of this essential institution happened back in November, which was deadly and horrible, but left the hospital functioning despite the lack medicines, anesthetics, vaccines, and other necessities due to Israel’s prevention of essential aid supplies.


This time it was much worse. Israeli troops stormed at dawn on March 18th, and after two weeks of terror, every single building in this large complex was bombed, burned, and rendered unusable. About 400 were killed—medics and wounded and sick were killed—and 300 arrested. After the abrupt withdrawal of the IDF on April 1st, people from the surrounding area where many live and others have sought shelter went to the complex to check on the damage.


“We did not expect this”

“We did not expect to see all of this…It is crystal clear that the Israeli army is the most unethical army in the world,” said a local journalist on the scene.2 Another said, “The occupation has violated everything in the Gaza Strip, and nobody in the world seems to be determined to stop them. Rather, major global powers are complicit and partners in massacring our Palestinian people.”


“The Al Shifa Medical Complex is the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, and it is the lifeline of the health sector in Gaza,” said one local journalist. He should have said “was,” because now, “everything in the complex is destroyed. All the buildings of the hospital were bombed and are no longer useable. …now, it is destroyed, and the occupation has completely taken it out of service.”3


Three days later, the Electronic Intifada released more eyewitness reports. “Salem Baraka has seen the kind of horror no parent should ever have to endure: The Israeli military killed his son Karim right in front of him.” Like many others, Salem and his son Karim had fled from his home in Jabaliya refugee camp and taken shelter in Al Shifa hospital. They were inside the hospital when it was stormed by Israeli forces on March 18. He said he had spent the following week “waiting to die.” The situation was “worse than hell.”


“Quadcopter drones were firing wildly striking anything that moved,” he said. “The Israelis smashed the glass in the windows and destroyed the walls in the department where we were hiding. A shell fell on us and killed my son in front of my eyes,” he added. “I could not save him. He bled to death.”


Tanks against unarmed victims and their bodies

The Electronic Intifada report goes on: “Among the terrible scenes he witnessed were Israeli tanks driving over the bodies of people who had been killed in the hospital’s courtyard. Because the hospital could not function, infections soared among people who were wounded. In many cases, injured people were devoured by parasites due to the lack of treatment.


After the hospital had been under siege for approximately a week, the Israeli forces used loudspeakers to summon everyone into the courtyard. The Palestinian men were ordered to strip. Then they were beaten. Women were subjected to both verbal and physical abuse, according to Salem.


Salem recalled that he “trembled in horror when one of the soldiers called my name.” He was interrogated for around 48 hours. “I was not allowed to sit down or turn to the left or right,” he said. “My hands were tied behind my back. I was blindfolded and completely naked.” Salem added that he repeatedly heard gunfire and that his interrogator “threatened to kill my wife, who is ill and lives with her family in northern Gaza, if I did not cooperate.”


“Throughout the interrogation, I was thinking about where the soldier would shoot me. In the head, chest, or heart? I did not believe him when he said the interrogation was over. I realized that I had miraculously survived death.” Salem was given a choice of evacuating to southern Gaza or being killed. Salem had to walk to southern Gaza, but he was not allowed to see his son’s body for a final goodbye.


Three strikes kill seven

aid workers

The same day that the Israeli military pulled out from the wreckage of Al Shifa, another earthshattering event happened—seven workers with the World Central Kitchen aid group were leaving after delivering 100 tons of food to a warehouse in central Gaza when multiple Israeli air strikes hit all three of their well-marked cars, killing them. They had communicated with Israeli officials about their mission beforehand and had permission to go.


Another seven dead in six months of fighting that has left hundreds-of-thousands of Palestinians dead and tens-of-thousands more wounded: why is that earth shattering? It’s because six of them were from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and an American/Canadian dual citizen; and all of whom, except for Poland, were from countries supporting Israel in this war. (The seventh person killed was a Palestinian driver.)


Suddenly, it’s “Houston, we have a problem!” Killing the aid workers was “unacceptable” said Biden. “If we don’t see the changes that we need to see, there’ll be changes in our own policy,” (Blinken); and an “outrage” said U.S. defense Secretary Austin, as he was sending more two-thousand-pound bombs and 50 fighter jets (a first) over to “Bibi” Netanyahu in the largest and most expensive military shipment to Israel to date in this one-sided war.


Biden’s administration had plenty of time in the past six months of Israel’s genocidal war to become even more outraged than it was over a targeted murder of seven aid deliverers, but it only managed to mumble something about Israel going “over the top.”


Bunker buster bombs slaughter civilians

The bunker-buster bombs, supposedly used to penetrate to the tunnels below ground allegedly being used by Hamas, are killing everyone in homes and apartments in order to target just a few or even just one Hamas member living there, for which their “human shield” civilians are considered expendable. But except for Israel’s chief backers—mainly the U.S. and German administrations—most of the world knows that this war is a genocidal campaign to kill and/or drive out all Palestinians from their homeland and turn it into a Jewish-Zionist-state.


As Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said just two days into this war, “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we act accordingly.” To this declaration of the war crime that is this conflict, Gallant might well have added that destruction of all of Palestine’s essential infrastructure, apartment buildings, medical facilities, schools, mosques, are going to be included.


The sight of children digging through the rubble that was once their homes to find food sums it up.


“Why should Israel be allowed to exist?” asks Hamas

The question now is, as Hamas says, why should Israel even be allowed to exist? Nazi Germany created sights of starving children wasting away in concentration camps, and it was abolished, albeit in an unsupportable inter-imperialist war. The Confederate States of America was abolished in a revolutionary war, which was the real revolution in the U.S. that 1776 was not. The monarchial state of Russia was abolished in a two-stage revolution which overthrew the centuries old Czarist state, then smashed capitalism in the first successful socialist revolution—the Bolshevik revolution—in 1917.


Now, we need to see the Palestinians defeat apartheid Israel. We need a socialist revolution in the Middle East and the world, and we need to replace the Zionist state with a revolutionary socialist state of Palestine. But we also must understand how this barbarism by a state dedicated to, and populated largely by a people who were the victims of the Nazi holocaust just nine decades ago, came about. To understand how this incredible crime happened in 2024, we must breakdown the history.


It started before Israel actually existed. A journalist from Vienna named Theodor Herzl came up with a plan in the 1890s to save the Jewish people by moving them from the antisemitism in Europe and around the world, to Palestine. It sounded like a plan to some, but it had a major catch—Herzl wanted to make Palestine a Jewish-only state.


Though he had visited Palestine once (and only once,) Herzl knew very well that Palestine was already occupied. Herzl was known as the author of a book, Der Judenstaat, published in 1896, which made his plan clear, including directions for how to get rid of the native population:


“We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our own country.” For the elite property owners, Herzl, says that they “will come over to our side,” or be “expropriated.” To make clear that this was to be exclusively Jewish, he insisted his state have the “sovereign right” to control immigration. The Jewish state, Herzl wrote, would “form a part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.”


Herzl gets an answer,

and ignores it

While Herzl was founding the Zionist organization in the late 1890s, he received a letter from a prominent Palestinian who was an acquaintance of Herzl’s, named Yusuf Diya al-Din Pasha al-Khalidi. Yusuf Diya was conscious of the pervasive Western, and especially Christian, antisemitism, and his letter seemed to appreciate Herzl’s plan, but he insisted that Herzl recognize the fact that Palestine “is already inhabited by others.” He asserted that it was “pure folly” for Zionism to plan to take over Palestine, and that “the unhappy Jewish nation” needed to find refuge elsewhere. He concluded with, “In the name of god, let Palestine be left alone.” Herzl’s reply was no reply at all. He didn’t address Yusuf Diya’s argument, and instead established a pattern of dismissing the interests, and even the existence of the indigenous population of Palestine. 4


The violent imposition of the state of Israel on Palestine was still decades away, but capitalist imperialism was an essential element in making it happen from the very beginning. Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire, which was an old, multi-national entity, that was only beginning to break up, with national interests in sectors of it emerging. Most of these nationalities were targeted by the European imperialist countries seeking to spread their spheres of interest for exploitation. After lengthy negotiations, the Sykes–Picot treaty5 was agreed to among the powers, chiefly Britain, and France. This agreement was kept secret to prevent the Ottomans, which all these powers knew was going to be completely divided up by them in the “Great War”—World War I—that they all knew was coming. It was officially ratified during the war.


The Palestine region, with a smaller area than the later “Mandate” for Palestine, was to fall under an “international administration,” which effectively meant Britain (which also grabbed Jordan and others, while France got control of Syria, Turkey and more.) Most of the divided up Arab territories became nations, but Palestine remained under British domination.


A solution is difficult,

but necessary

Given what they have had to go through, Palestinians are amazing. They survived British occupation and have survived six wars/invasions counting the 1948 war, in which Israel killed and drove out almost all the Palestinians from their newly formed “mandate.” Israel is now trying to kill or drive out everyone from Palestine. Palestinians deserve to live, while its attacker, Israel, needs to be abolished.


Palestinians and Jews have lived side by side in the past and could do so again. The Jews then were a small minority in the Ottoman Arab state, but they were welcome there, as were Christians and other minorities, and that is true today in Palestine. Israel is the exact opposite, with 1.6 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel (total population of 9.5 million) but who are treated as second-class citizens. What is needed now is a united and free socialist Palestine!




1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Palestinian_legislative_election for all the information on the 2006 election. Israel’s wars have prevented elections since then.


2 Abdallah Aljamal,”‘Most Unethical Army in the World’—Palestine Chronicle Assesses the Damage at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital,” Palestine Chronicle, April 1, 2024.


3 The Electronic Intifada credits Doaa Shaheen, a journalist from Gaza, for this report, at: electronicintifada.net. April 2, 2024.


4 These quotes come from Herzl’s diary in 1895, and other writings as reported by Rashid Khalidi, in The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine, A History of settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917—2017. As a descendant in a prominent Palestinian family that goes back to this time, Khalidi has produced here a very informative and essential history of Palestine and its terrifying occupation by the Zionist state.


5 The Sykes–Picot Agreement was a 1916 secret treaty between the United Kingdom and France, with assent from the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy, to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in an eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire.





3) Aid Starts Entering Gaza Through U.S.-Built Pier, but Officials Say It Isn’t Enough

By Victoria Kim, May 17, 2024


A ship sits in a body of water near a city. Smoke stacks can been seen in the background.

A ship near a temporary floating pier set up by the U.S. military, seen from central Gaza on Thursday. Credit...Abdel Kareem Hana/Associated Press

As trucks began bringing aid into Gaza from a temporary pier, relief groups said sea shipments could not supplant deliveries by land.

Trucks of humanitarian aid began moving ashore into Gaza early Friday through a temporary pier built by the U.S. military, the first supplies of aid to be sent into the enclave by sea in two months, but well short of what humanitarian groups say is needed to meet the staggering levels of hunger and deprivation in Gaza.


A day earlier, the U.S. military said it had anchored the floating pier and causeway to the beach in Gaza, a key step in completing a maritime aid corridor that the Pentagon announced in March. But U.S. officials and international aid groups have said sea shipments can only supplement deliveries through land crossings, not replace them.


No U.S. troops entered Gaza on Friday, the U.S. military said, emphasizing that it was providing only logistical support for delivery of the supplies, which were donated by a number of countries and organizations.


The territory of 2.2 million civilians is more reliant than ever on humanitarian aid. The devastation after seven months of Israeli bombardment, strict Israeli inspections and restrictions on crossing points had already severely limited what can enter. And over the past week and a half, the flow of aid through the main land crossings in southern Gaza has been reduced nearly to a trickle since Israel began a military assault around the city of Rafah.


Israel has come under pressure from the Biden administration and other allies to do more to to ease the entry of aid, with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken warning this week that recent improvements in relief delivery were being undercut by the fighting in southern Gaza.


The supplies included in the initial deliveries were a fraction of the need in Gaza: food bars for 11,000 people, therapeutic food for 7,200 malnourished children and hygiene kits for 30,000 people, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. The British government said it had sent 8,400 temporary shelters made up of plastic sheeting.


“More aid will follow in the coming weeks, but we know the maritime route is not the only answer,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain said in a statement.


It was not immediately clear where in the enclave the aid would be delivered or when. The U.N. World Food Program said in a statement that it would handle logistics in Gaza for aid coming through the pier, including coordinating trucks, overseeing the loading of supplies, dispatching them to warehouses and handing them over to “humanitarian partners.”


Pentagon officials said they were initially aiming to deliver about 90 trucks of aid each day, increasing that to about 150 trucks when the operation reaches capacity. Some 500 trucks of commercial goods and aid arrived in Gaza each day before the war began last October.


Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III spoke about the maritime corridor in a call with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, on Thursday, according to the Pentagon. Mr. Austin stressed the need to “surge” humanitarian assistance to Gaza, through land border crossings in addition to the pier, according to the department.


Israel’s military said it had been working with the U.S. military to support the project as a “top priority.”


Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, deputy commander of the Central Command, said the pier would only complement the flow of aid through land crossings, which he emphasized were “the most efficient and effective pathway to move the necessary volume of assistance.”


One of Gaza’s two main crossings for aid, in Rafah on the border with Egypt, has been closed since Israel began its military operation against Hamas fighters there. Israel shut down the second major crossing, at Kerem Shalom, after a Hamas rocket attack nearby killed four Israeli soldiers last week. That crossing has since reopened, Israel says, but little aid has passed through in recent days.


An aid group, World Central Kitchen, built a makeshift jetty in mid-March to deliver aid by sea to Gaza for the first time in nearly two decades. But those efforts came to an abrupt stop in early April after seven of the group’s workers were killed in an Israeli strike.


Raja Abdulrahim and Aaron Boxerman contributed reporting.



4) Israel defends its Rafah operation at a U.N. court.

By Aaron Boxerman reporting from Jerusalem, May 17, 2024


Dark smoke billows over an area of densely packed buildings.

Smoke rises following an airstrike in Gaza, as seen from southern Israel, on Friday. Credit...Tsafrir Abayov/Associated Press

Lawyers representing Israel on Friday defended the military operation in Rafah as “limited and localized,” arguing at the United Nations’ top court that the judges should not seek to restrict Israel’s actions in Gaza.


At a hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Israel responded to a South African petition for the court to order an immediate halt to its ground assault in Rafah.


Israeli forces have advanced into the outskirts of Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, over the past week and a half, ordering mass evacuations and intensifying their bombardment ahead of a long-anticipated invasion of the city. More than 630,000 people have fled the area, many of them already displaced from elsewhere in Gaza, according to the United Nations.


The hearings are part of South Africa’s case accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, which it filed in December. In late January, the court ordered Israel to do more to prevent acts of genocide, but is not expected to hear the main case over whether genocide is being committed until next year.


Last week, South Africa asked the judges to issue an emergency order aiming to prevent wide-scale civilian harm in Rafah. Lawyers for South Africa argued at the court on Thursday that Israel’s Rafah operation was “the last step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people.”


The court has no means of enforcing its orders, but the South Africa case has contributed to the international pressure on Israel to rein in its campaign in Gaza. It was not clear when the court would issue a decision on South Africa’s request for an emergency order.


On Friday, Gilad Noam, the Israeli deputy attorney general for international law, repeated Israel’s fierce rejection that it was committing genocide in Gaza. He said the Israeli authorities were working to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid and to protect civilians amid fierce combat across the enclave, including in Rafah.


“Israel is taking steps to try and contend with the massive complexity that such a situation presents,” Mr. Noam told the judges. “That is why there has not been a large-scale assault on Rafah, but rather specific limited and localized operations prefaced with evacuation efforts and support for humanitarian activities.”


Israeli leaders have said that invading Rafah is necessary to topple Hamas’s rule in Gaza. Four battalions of Hamas fighters are in the city, according to the Israeli military, as well as at least some of the over 130 living and dead hostages still held by Palestinian armed groups since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that set off the war in Gaza.


But the prospect of a major ground invasion of Rafah amid hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians has provoked sharp criticism internationally, including from the Biden administration. After Israel began its advance into the area, President Biden said Washington would withhold some weapons if Israel launched a full-fledged assault into densely populated areas.


Mr. Noam argued that the court ran the risk of engaging in “micromanagement of operational aspects of an armed conflict.” He said that demanding a cease-fire would only tie Israel’s hands because Hamas — an armed group rather than a state — was not subject to the court’s jurisdiction.


South Africa on Thursday also asked the court to order Israel to ensure greater access for aid workers, investigators and journalists in Gaza. Mr. Noam said that Israel’s justice system was working to crack down on alleged wartime misconduct, and that military prosecutors had opened 55 criminal investigations into possible violations by Israeli forces since the beginning of the war.


Human rights groups argue the Israeli military cannot credibly investigate itself and that soldiers who kill Palestinians under contested circumstances rarely face substantial penalties. B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human rights monitor, has dismissed previous inquiries by the Israeli authorities into potential violations of the laws of war as a whitewash.


Israeli officials have accused South Africa, by filing the case, of acting as a “legal arm” of Hamas, which led the deadly Oct. 7 attack. Last week, Hamas said that a delegation of its officials had attended a conference in Johannesburg. Hamas posted a photo of Basem Naim, a group spokesman, speaking with Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s foreign minister, on social media.



5) Texas Governor Pardons Man in Fatal Shooting of Protester in 2020

The man, Daniel S. Perry, was convicted of killing a protester during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Austin.

By J. David Goodman, Reporting from Houston, May 16, 2024


Daniel S. Perry was convicted last year of killing Garrett Foster at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020. Credit...Jay Janner/American-Statesman, via USA Today Network

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas on Thursday pardoned a man who was convicted of fatally shooting a protester during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the summer of 2020, fulfilling a promise he made last year amid pressure from conservatives.


The decision immediately followed a pardon recommendation from the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles, whose members are appointed by the governor. Lawyers for the man, Daniel S. Perry, argued that he had acted in self-defense against the protester, who was carrying an AK-47-style rifle.


Mr. Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison in an emotional hearing last year in which prosecutors presented evidence of racist online comments he had made and said that psychological experts had found him to be “basically a loaded gun.” As the pardons board considered the case, lawyers with the Travis County district attorney, José Garza, met with the board to argue against a pardon.


Under Texas law, a recommendation from the board is necessary before the governor can grant a pardon.


“Texas has one of the strongest ‘stand your ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive district attorney,” Mr. Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement on Thursday. “I thank the board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation.”


The family of the protester, Garrett Foster, a 28-year-old former mechanic in the U.S. Air Force, expressed disbelief at the decision and saw a political motivation. Republicans, including the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, and the political pundit Tucker Carlson, had called for Mr. Perry’s pardon.


“It doesn’t make sense. I feel like I’m in a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode. This doesn’t happen,” Mr. Foster’s mother, Sheila, said in a telephone interview. “It seems like this is some kind of a political circus and it’s costing me my life.”


Her son was a supporter of the Second Amendment, she said, who advocated free speech and had been attending the racial justice protests in 2020 day after day. “He deserved so much better,” Ms. Foster said. “He was an Air Force veteran. He was out there protecting people from people like Perry.”


She recalled being worried for her son during the protests, but he had reassured her. “He said, ‘Mom, I’m fine, I’m not in danger,’” she recalled.


The case landed at the intersection of some of the most contentious issues facing the nation, including the protests over the killing of George Floyd, the proliferation of military-style rifles in the hands of civilians, and the legal rights of those who choose to stand their ground and open fire, rather than retreat, when they perceive themselves to be under threat.


Mr. Perry was an active-duty U.S. Army sergeant on the night of July 25, 2020, when he was working as an Uber driver in downtown Austin and drove toward a crowd of demonstrators.


It was there that a group of people that included Mr. Foster approached Mr. Perry’s car. Mr. Foster — who, like Mr. Perry, was white — wore a bandanna on his face and carried an AK-47-style rifle on a strap in front of him. Mr. Perry’s lawyers said Mr. Foster had begun pointing his weapon and it was then that Mr. Perry opened fire.


During the trial, prosecutors showed evidence before the shooting of Mr. Perry’s animosity toward protesters on social media.


The jury reviewed video of the July 25 confrontation during their deliberations, according to an alternate juror, and considered the self-defense argument. But jurors ultimately voted to convict.


Lawyers for Mr. Perry had asked for a new trial, saying that information had been improperly introduced into the deliberations by at least one juror. But the judge in the case, Cliff Brown of the 147th Criminal District Court in Travis County, ruled that those actions did not undermine the verdict.


The governor used his official pardon proclamation to attack the district attorney, writing that Mr. Garza had not sought to see justice done but instead “demonstrated unethical and biased misuse of his office in prosecuting Daniel Scott Perry.”


“District Attorney Garza directed the lead detective investigating Daniel Scott Perry to withhold exculpatory evidence from the grand jury considering whether to report an indictment,” Mr. Abbott wrote.


An Austin police detective who had worked on the case accused Mr. Garza of withholding evidence that could have helped Mr. Perry.


Mr. Garza, a Democrat, is currently facing a proceeding that could remove him from office under a new law signed by the governor aimed at limiting the discretion of local prosecutors.


In a statement, Mr. Garza said that the governor and the pardons board had “made a mockery of our legal system” and that they “should be ashamed of themselves.”


“They have sent a message to Garrett Foster’s family, to his partner and to our community that his life does not matter,” Mr. Garza wrote. “They have sent the message that the service of the Travis County community members who served on the grand jury and trial jury does not matter.”


Doug O’Connell, a lawyer for Mr. Perry, thanked the governor and pardons board. “He is thrilled and elated to be free,” Mr. O’Connell said of his client. “He wishes that this tragic event never happened and wishes he never had to defend himself against Mr. Foster’s unlawful actions.” He said Mr. Perry had lost his military career but would seek to have his discharge upgraded to “honorable.”


The governor’s pardon of Mr. Perry contrasted with his stance after the pardons board recommended a posthumous pardon for Mr. Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis in 2020 and had a minor drug conviction while living in Houston. The governor took no action in Mr. Floyd’s case, and months later the board rescinded its recommendation.


Mr. Abbott, in explaining Mr. Perry’s pardon, said that Mr. Perry had feared for his life after his car was “immediately surrounded by aggressive protesters who rushed to obstruct, strike, pound, smash and kick his vehicle” and that Mr. Foster “brandished a Kalashnikov-style rifle in the low-ready firing position.”


The pardon left those close to Mr. Foster reeling.


“I loved Garrett Foster. I thought we were going to grow old together,” said Whitney Mitchell, who referred to him as her husband though they were not legally married. “I am heartbroken by this lawlessness. Governor Abbott has shown that, to him, only certain lives matter. He has made us all less safe.”


Mr. Foster’s mother said she saw Mr. Abbott’s pardon as an attack on the Second Amendment rights of Texans. “This is an open-carry state and my son wasn’t breaking the law,” she said.


She said that she planned to move out of the state. “I will not live here. I will not live somewhere where they say that is OK,” she said.


The pardon comes as Texas has been in the midst of another round of public protests, this time on college campuses in opposition to Israel’s actions in the Gaza war.


Mr. Abbott has forcefully denounced the pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to take over a campus at the state’s flagship university campus in Austin and sent in state police officers, some of them on horseback, to make arrests. But there have been no deaths or serious injuries associated with the latest demonstrations.