On November 23, I woke up in the middle of the night to take the ferry to the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz Island. It was dark and very cold, but as I got close to the pier, I came upon an amazing sight: the darkness was filled with people wearing keffiyehs and “Free Palestine” sweatshirts, waving Palestinian flags. As we got on the ferry, the people looked sleepy, but they were chanting, “Free, free Palestine!” I’ve been to the Alcatraz ceremony many times, but this was the first time I saw this much support for Palestine.

On the island, Gaza was the center of every speech. The prayers for all Indigenous people were all in solidarity with Gaza. As the sun came up, we saw the flags of all the Indigenous nations, and there were the Palestinian flags among them. Everyone who has their own history of a Nakba feels what is happening in Gaza in their hearts. We could feel Gaza cross all the seas and oceans and land in Alcatraz.

When the al-Juthoor Palestinian dance group started performing they asked everyone to join. Soon there was a huge circle of debka dancers around the fire. Many of us were in tears, seeing everyone coming together, chanting and dancing for Palestine, for Gaza.

The solidarity movement is building throughout the world. I am amazed by the huge marches, the sit-ins, the creative actions people are taking to express their solidarity and to try to stop the war machine. The new generation has found a cause and they are making it central to their lives. A few weeks ago, I met a student in Los Angeles who told me that Gaza has made them learn more about the world than in all their life previously.

Gaza is deepening people’s understanding of the connections to the struggles against racism in their own backyards. Rashad Timmons, working with the Michael Brown Sr. Chosen for Change Organization, is collecting gloves for children in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown, a young Black man, was killed by the police in 2014, during the major assault on Gaza. For each pair of gloves donated, he contributed money to MECA for Gaza. At the same time, Chosen for Change issued a strong statement of solidarity: “We continue this tradition of transnational solidarity by speaking out against the genocide of Palestinians and the militarized warfare on Black and Arab lives in the settler colonies of the United States and Israel. We continue this tradition by creating and believing in a world where children and families, from Ferguson to Palestine, can live free from oppression, occupation, and suffering.”

Gaza has exposed the international power structures—the politicians and organizations that pretend they care about human rights and democracy, Indigenous rights, hunger, and genocide. Now they are naked. Gaza has exposed who they really are.

We are also seeing enormous generosity from the community, who express their solidarity by taking action and supporting MECA’s work on the ground. For the past 20 years, we have had a Palestinian bazaar in the late fall to sell pottery, glassware, food, embroidery and other crafts made in Palestine. It is always a wonderful event, but this year was unbelievable. Thousands of people came, many waiting in line for an hour in the rain just to get in the door. In the first hour, our 400 keffiyehs sold out.

We are witnessing a huge shift in people’s understanding of what’s happening in Palestine and their determination to take action because they know they have to stop this genocide. That brings hope for justice, even in the midst of hundreds of people dying every day, massacred in their homes, schools, hospitals, and in the streets. The people of Gaza are bringing us together. We can see their spirit. They have hope that this will change the world.

As a Palestinian, I can say we will never recover from what is happening in Gaza. But the colonizers will never weaken our determination for a free Palestine. The steadfastness of the people of Gaza has created a vision of freedom, not just for Palestine but for all the people in the world.