LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A ‘liberation and solidarity’ arts benefit show was held at the Hola Habibi bar in downtown Las Vegas Sunday to raise money for local organizations, spread awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and advocate for a free Palestine.

“I think a lot of people are very moved and also affected by the things happening in the Middle East and Gaza,” said local artist Brian Martinez.

“The first connection I have is simply being a human,” said event organizer Gabbi Fisher. “It’s definitely a human rights issue above anything else.”

20 local artists donated their work, sending powerful messages through different mediums.

“One of my pieces is a hand-made screen print called ‘Palestina Libre,’ which is ‘Free Palestine,’” said Martinez. “I showed a woman in a traditional scarf, and just kind of the gaze looking at you, really trying to almost instill and inspire people to make a move and have their voice heard.”

The art show was organized by Fifth Sun and Nevadans for Palestinian Liberation.

“We all have power to help in this situation, whether that’s raising awareness or educating ourselves. That’s definitely the start,” said Fisher.

Fisher says the first step toward understanding the tragic situation in the Middle East is educating ourselves on the history of the region.

“Palestine has been an apartheid state since 1948, same as South Africa. There’s a very long history involving Palestinians fight for liberation,” said Fisher. “Oppressed groups of people have every right to seek out liberation. I think people also need to understand that the people in Gaza are normal people like us. They have hopes dreams and aspirations, and they need our support and solidarity.”

Sunday was also the start of a global strike week, when many plan to protest big businesses and skip work to send a message of solidarity and support for the people of Gaza.


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