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  • Approved for CNN

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    Posted July 18, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Israel-Gaza conflict

    More from Mathenzel

    Free Palestine Protest Milwaukee 7-18-14


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Pro-Palestinian protesters marched on the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 18, Mathenzel said. He was not involved in the protesting, but took photos of people on the streets rallying for their cause. “The protest was patriotic and truly heartfelt. You know how some people give off good and bad vibes? When I walked up to these people it was the first time in my life that I felt true empathy for someone overseas,” he said. “It has changed me for the better.”
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    This is the 2nd demonstration in 2 weeks. This is monumentally important. I give to you my article for submission.




    During this difficult time on our planet we find ourselves troubled and often lead astray when we do decide to pay attention. Around the world true activists exist in all of their might and courage. Some at home within our borders are ignored. It seems we all have too much to think about in our days with the celebrities and what have you. This is a difficult time in our lives. I think we need to promote awareness and accurately do so. I have seen Palestinian children recording videos begging to be spared, as well as people in forums about the subject and its horror. I am driven to aid people. I recollect that the beauty that came from this time is what I witnessed downtown Milwaukee Wisconsin. I have never seen people practice something so American. There were hundreds of people protesting in front of the federal building. Walking up to them I felt this heavy sense of empathy. It was in the air then. I recorded a video of their signs and empathy and patriotism on my iPhone. After that day, I sought many who were there via Twitter and Facebook. I eventually caught a hold of a young lady who turned out to be a University-Wisconsin-Milwaukee student who also was president of the Students For Justice In Palestine Of Wisconsin at UWM. The vastness of this moment is not to be underestimated. I threw a few questions for Reema Hamden. "How were you capable to organize such a gathering?" To which she replied "With social media and networking throughout the community, we were  able to work with other coalitions and organizations to spread the word about the genocide in Gaza. Due to the consistent attacks on Gaza by Israel, the savage murder of Mohammed Abu-Khdeir and the beating of American citizen Tariq Abu-Khdeir,  we came together as students, parents, and citizens in our community to let everyone know that not only are these acts of Israel or morally wrong, but should be condemned and no longer funded by the American taxpayers"


    This all definitely struck me as something people need to recognize. This system has a strong grassroots system and consistent beliefs and admirable inspirations. You can find a video of the first demonstration here at




    Sorry if there are any typos.


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