Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine targets Biden's fundraiser, demands action on Gaza conflict

After a trip to the battleground state of Wisconsin, President Joe Biden touched down in Chicago for a private campaign fundraiser on Wednesday afternoon.

In addition to street closures and a large police presence downtown, Biden’s visit drew hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators to Michigan Avenue and Ida B. Wells Drive.

While specific details of Biden’s event were kept under wraps, demonstrators marched to the Palmer House hotel, where the president was raising money for his re-election campaign.

"In this case, we want to get within sight and sound of whatever building he is trying to raise his millions from, with the other Democratic Party people there that are also complicit in genocide," said Hatem Abudayyeh.

Organized by the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine (CJP), demonstrators were calling on the president to withdraw support for Israel.

"Stop funding and stop giving weapons to foreign countries and start supporting your own country," said Anas Allan, protester.

They are also demanding that Biden encourage Israel to accept a ceasefire agreement.

"He is responsible for the 35,000 Palestinians who have been killed by Israel. He can turn that faucet of weapons and money off immediately, and he can stop this thing. He could have stopped it in October," said Abudayyeh.

Abudayyeh is the spokesperson for the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine and national chair of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN). He says the voices of pro-Palestinian protesters will be heard in November.

"This is not a vote for Trump, but we will also not take any responsibility if Biden does lose, the responsibility is on him," said Abudayyeh.

"We just have to keep pushing him, pushing the agenda on him, until he realizes he’s not going to get votes," said Allan.

The president's visit comes as the U.S. recently paused a shipment of bombs to Israel amid concerns over a full-scale attack on Rafah, located in the Gaza Strip.

"We’re here to represent our people, it’s gone on far too long," said Fatmah Samaha, protester.

As President Biden concluded his visit to the Windy City on Wednesday evening, protesters marched from the Palmer House back to their starting point on Congress Plaza Drive.

There, a passerby who appeared to be shouting ‘USA’ ended up in a scuffle with demonstrators, who could be seen shoving him.

Police intervened to diffuse the situation. No arrests were made.

Protesters dispersed shortly before 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

The organization that held Wednesday's protest is the same group that plans to march during the DNC this summer. They are currently fighting to obtain permits to demonstrate within one block of the convention – a request the city has denied; however, organizers say they plan to march with or without those permits.