Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters chant 'Guilty!' and smear red paint on the gates in front of White House

  • Tens of thousands of anti-war activists descended on Washington, DC Saturday.

  • Organizers told Insider they believed up to 100,000 people were at the march.

  • Protesters held signs that read "Free Palestine!" and called on the US to stop aiding Israel.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Washington, DC, on Saturday in support of Palestinians.

After hours of speeches in a downtown plaza, protesters marched several blocks to the White House, where they chanted "Guilty!"

As the sun set, protesters also smeared the White House gates with red paint, according to footage from journalist Steven Nelson.

Thousands of protesters came to the city on buses, many from out of state, including as far away as Georgia and Massachusetts.

Washington, DC, is the latest city to see large pro-Palestinian rallies. Hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world have staged demonstrations in the last week, including massive protests in London, Istanbul, and elsewhere. Major cities throughout the United States have also seen rallies, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston.

Several large protests took place last weekend after the Israel Defense Forces launched its ground operation in Gaza.

Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people and kidnapped an estimated 100 to 200 people in a series of attacks in southern Israel on October 7.

In response, Israel launched punishing air strikes and a ground offensive in the densely populated Gaza Strip, a sliver of land the size of Philadelphia that is home to about 2 million people, many of them children.

The Hamas-led Palestinian Health Ministry has said that the death toll in Gaza is nearing about 10,000 people. The Ministry said thousands of those fatalities have been children. The median age in Gaza is 18.

Organizers say 100,000 demonstrators were in DC to call for a cease-fire

Thousands of pro-Palestine demonstrators march in Washington DC, calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered in Washington, DC to call for a cease-fire in Gaza on Saturday.Katie Hawkinson

Organizers told Insider they expected 100,000 people to gather in DC on Saturday to call for a cease-fire in Gaza. They said the demonstrators planned to march from Freedom Plaza to the White House, then back to Freedom Plaza.

Protesters are demanding the US stop sending military aid to Israel

Demonstrators gathered for a pro-Palestine rally in Washington DC.
Demonstrators gathered for a pro-Palestine rally in Washington, DC.Katie Hawkinson

Insider spoke to demonstrators who called for the United States to stop sending military aid to Israel.

One man carried a poster that said he was a veteran and that he was shocked that his country "supports war crimes with $$$ & arms."

"I can't believe more veterans aren't here with me right now," he told Insider.

President Joe Biden has asked Congress for $14.3 billion in aid for Israel, $10.6 billion of which would go to the Department of Defense to use for Israeli defense systems and to replenish US munitions going to Israel, Insider previously reported.

The United States has long provided Israel with billions in military funding.

Organizers hoped the march would be the largest pro-Palestinian demonstration in US history

Pro-Palestine demonstrators march toward the White House.
Pro-Palestine demonstrators march toward the White House.Katie Hawksinson

Brian Becker, the director of the ANSWER Coalition, which helped organize the march, told The Post he hoped the gathering would be "the largest demonstration in support of the Palestinian people in the history of the United States."

40 buses full of demonstrators couldn't get to Freedom Plaza because of road closures, organizers say

Thousands of people gathered in Washington DC to call for a cease-fire in Gaza.
Thousands of people gathered in Washington, DC to call for a cease-fire in Gaza.Katie Hawkinson

Event organizers told USA Today that 40 buses carrying people planning to attend the demonstration could not reach Freedom Plaza due to road closures. The crowd, which had to walk to get as close as possible to the rally, included people using wheelchairs and toddlers. Many protesters wore keffiyehs, traditional scarves some men wear in Middle Eastern regions.

Naming those killed in Gaza

Pro-Palestinian protesters carry a banner listing the names of the nearly 10,000 Palestinians believed killed in Israel's offensive.
Pro-Palestinian protesters carry a banner listing the names of what they say are the nearly 10,000 Palestinians killed in Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip.Katie Hawkinson

Israel's military offensive in the wake of the Hamas attacks has killed nearly 10,000 Palestinians, many of them civilians and many of them children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The only comprehensive statistics for civilian casualties in Gaza come from the Palestinian Health Ministry, an agency of Gaza's Hamas-run government whose credibility has come under scrutiny after it blamed an explosion at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza on Israeli forces — a claim disputed by numerous open-source researchers and the assessment of the US intelligence community.

After President Joe Biden publicly doubted the accuracy of its casualty statistics, however, the Health Ministry released a list that it said contained the names, ID numbers, and ages of every person killed by Israeli airstrikes, Insider previously reported.

While Insider was unable to verify the list, it has been endorsed by officials from the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

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