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Source: Ryan Hedrick / WIBC

INDIANAPOLIS — In the backdrop of NBA All-Star Weekend, various organizations, including the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Indianapolis, Jewish Voice for Peace-Indiana, and the Middle Eastern Student Association (IU-Indy), rallied and then marched downtown toward Lucas Oil Stadium chanting various phrases including derogatory terms toward the Indianapolis Metro Police, and “No More Money for Israel’s slaughter.”

“We are holding this rally right now; it’s Saturday night, All-Star Weekend is happening for the NBA, and the mayor and these business leaders in our city want all the eyes of the world to be here in Indianapolis,” said Noah Leininger with Party for Socialism and Liberation – Indianapolis. “We are seeing that the State of Israel is threatening to bomb and invade Rafah, which is right now the most densely populated area in the world.”

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization actively involved in the protest, said they have advocated for a ceasefire for several months.

“It’s a great turnout, a cold night, but people showed up for Gaza,” said Malkah Bird. “Our message here tonight is that we are calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. All eyes are on Indy right now because of the, but our eyes are on Gaza, on Rafah, we are not looking away, and we are going to make sure that the city does not look away.”

A group of nearly 100 protestors marched toward Lucas Oil Stadium with NBA All-Star Saturday going on; pro-Palestinian protestors said they were inside of the stadium unveiling signs that read “Cease Fire Now” and “Let Gaza Live.”

“We are not aware of protest signs inside Lucas OIl Stadium,” a representative said from the venue.

“Athletes have a unique ability to unite people and a historic duty to speak truth to power. Taking a public stance for the people of Gaza is crucial, as their lives are being taken under our watch. We don’t need to wonder what we would have done 50, 100, or 300 years ago. Instead, we can reflect on our actions today. It’s paramount we stick together because, like any good team, there is strength in solidarity,” said JVP.

Protestors held up traffic on Capitol Street briefly and, despite verbalizing their discontent with the police, were assisted by IMPD several times as they navigated a path toward the Indiana Convention Center.