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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Around 50-100 pro-Palestine demonstrators were present at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Monday to call for a ceasefire. The rally coincided with the annual State of the State Address, where Gov. Stitt spoke about Oklahoma’s progress and hopes for the coming year. 

The crowd was heard chanting, “One-two-three-four, occupation no more,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Yasmin with Oklahomans Against Occupation spoke with The Black Wall Street Times about the protest. “Oklahoma is extremely complicit in the genocide happening in Palestine,” she stated. “The state treasurer has invested millions, and Gov. Stitt has said he unconditionally stands with Israel.” 

Oklahomans Against Occupation push for ceasefire

In November of last year, Stitt traveled to Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu to convey unwavering support. He also went on to discuss future partnerships between the two states. 

An army supplier in McAlester, OK “supplies one-third of munitions for the Defense Department and is considered the premier bomb- and warhead-loading facility, delivering thousands of Mark 84 2,000-pound bombs, M11 artillery rounds and 105mm artillery rounds, to name a few,” according to Defense News.

The local Army Ammunition Plant files MK-80 style bombs and manufactures Massive Ordnance Air Blast. MOABs are incredibly powerful bombs, first used in 2017 by the U.S. in Afghanistan. The largest detonation ever seen from a non-nuclear source. President Biden has previously agreed to sell weapons, like those created in McAlester, to Israel despite disapproval from Congress.

“We want to make sure that they know Oklahomans say ‘no’ to genocide,” Yasmin concluded. 

Increased Destruction of Gaza, Worsening Tensions in the U.S. 

As of February, the death toll in Gaza inches toward 30,000, nearly 70% of which are women and children. In the growing conflict, more than 80% of Gazans have been displaced, and thousands of homes have been destroyed. 

There has been an increase in demands for a ceasefire and removal of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including those at Monday’s Oklahoma state capitol protest.  

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that if all Israeli hostages are released, he will allow a two-month pause on military action. Hamas leaders have stalled negotiations because they are seeking a permanent ceasefire. 

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Biden-Harris’ reelection woes amid Israel’s war on Hamas

President Biden, who is well underway with his reelection campaign, has supported a two-state solution. When conflict intensified in October 2023, Biden originally stated, “The brutality we saw would have cut deep anywhere in the world, but it cuts deeper here in Israel.”

Acts of complete solidarity with Israel have shifted over recent months as Biden tries to appease young and minority voters. On Sunday, news outlets reported that Biden privately called Netanyahu a “bad f-cking guy,” although a spokesperson for Biden denied this.

There have been several interruptions on the Biden campaign from Palestinian supporters calling for a ceasefire. Protesters began chanting “ceasefire now” while Biden was addressing voters at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Recently, Vice President Harris was in San Jose on her Fight For Freedom college tour. More pro-Palestine supporters interrupted the Vice President also calling for a ceasefire. 

Reportedly, 56% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. With the 2024 election quickly approaching, the administration is trying to garner support that has diminished since the 2020 election.

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