On the third anniversary of Israel’s twenty-two day invasion of the besieged Gaza Strip, Chicagoans took to the streets to honor the fallen with a mass balloon release.
Among the 1,400 Palestinians killed during Israel’s invasion were at least 340 children who were, in most cases, playing soccer in the streets, sleeping with their favorite stuffed animals, or running errands for mom and dad when the missiles hit. Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights (CMPR), a youth-led collective, organized this gathering to symbolically commemorate these lost lives. Organizers in Nabi Saleh arranged an identical event the day before but were attacked with Israeli tear gas and water cannons.
Each balloon was tagged with the name and age of one of the killed children. The materials used were all biodegradable and the seed paper used for the tags is expected to bloom flowers wherever the tags land, a small but powerful tribute to the beauty and resilience of our fellow Palestinians in Gaza.