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Hundreds of protesters rally for permanent cease fire in Gaza to commemorate 'Land Day'

The Maine Coalition for Palestine rallied in Monument Square Saturday in conjunction with a global call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

March 30 is "Land Day" which commemorates the day in 1976 when six Palistinians were killed by the Israeli military as they protested Israel's taking of their land.

Portland rally participant Fateh Azzam said that theft of land continues today.

"We Palestinians will never stop defending our land. We fought alone for 75 years but not anymore, thanks to you. In our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians," Azzam said to the cheering crowd.

Rally organizer Rosemary Corkins said the event was a way to disrupt the daily routines of residents to urge them not to forget the lives of Palestinians displaced, killed and injured in the Gaza conflict, and to pressure politicians to stop supporting Israel with money and weapons.

"This year in particular it intersects very much with the occupation of Palestine, where their land is being taken from them through incredible violence and starvation," Corkins said.

According to Amnesty International, March 30 also marks the sixth anniversary of the Great March of Return in which Palestinians called on Israel to end its blockade on Gaza.