On the beautiful morning of Sunday, July 17, 2022, 93 people of all ages joined MECA’s First Annual Ride for Palestine. They rode along the beautiful San Francisco Bay Trail demonstrating their solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Ride for Palestine raised $79,195 from more than 700 people along with local businesses and non-profit organizations, and publications. As solidarity with Palestine grows, so will the Bay Area Ride. See you next year at the Second Annual Ride for Palestine. Go to www.RideforPalestine.com.
“During MECA’s First Annual Ride for Palestine, individuals, families, community organizations, and political groups expressed their solidarity with Palestinian people in Palestine and everywhere. At MECA, it’s our duty to create spaces where diverse communities can come to support each other and lift their spirits during difficult times—and cycling is a great way to achieve that. By riding and raising funds for MECA’s projects for children, the riders became part of a worldwide solidarity movement that supports the Palestinian people in bringing an end to Israeli Apartheid. Together we will create a future where every Palestinian child grows up in freedom and with dignity.”
-Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch, Executive Director
By supporting MECA (and by being a member of AROC), I can move beyond horrified anxiety and support action that will have a real, positive impact on people’s lives. I’m also excited about the ways a bicycle fundraiser will bring visibility to the issue and show that people in the Bay support and care about Palestinians.
— Rider Mary Salome
Top 10 Fundraisers
David Keenan, above front, was the top fundraiser for the Ride for Palestine—with $6,770 and still counting!—followed by Deborah Agre, Louise Anderson, Jos Sances, Eve Hershcopf, Mary Salome, Marna Wolak, Erica Ballinger, Andrew Nguyen, and Patrick O’Neill.
Top 10 Fundraising Teams Team JVPBA (Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area) was the top fundraising team and brought plenty of Riders, volunteers, and high spirits with them. They were followed by Arab Resource & Organizing Cyclers (AROC), Viva Palestina libre, Pride for Palestine, Crazy for Knafeh (and Liberation), Team Awda, Democratic Socialist Solidarity Riders, Love and Justice, and Zaytoon Trees.
The Post-Ride Celebration
As Riders returned, tired but exhilarated, they were greeted with cheers and congratulations and enjoyed a lively and inspiring celebration featuring music, dance, food, poetry, and speakers, including Corrina Gould, Confederated Villages of Lisjan who welcomed us to Ohlone Land, followed by Aswat, the Bay Area’s Premier Arab Music Ensemble; Nadia Elbgal, Oakland Youth Poet Laureate; Juthoor a Palestinian debka dancing group, Palestinian Youth Movement’s Bay of Revolution, with poetry reading by Voulette Hattar of MECA. The day included edible art in the form of tortillas printed by The Great Tortilla Conspiracy, and scrumptious food from Falafel Boy and Zaytoon Restaurant.
Mary House, a 100-year-old MECA supporter sent this message to all the Riders:
“As a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, all children have come to feel like my children, and I want to see all children be able to live their dreams. However, at 100 years old, it is time for me to ‘pass the baton.’ I encourage you:
Ride for Palestine.
Ride for the resiliency of the Palestinian people.
Ride to increase awareness of the injustices the Palestinian people must suffer every day under an apartheid state.
Ride for the future of the families and children of Gaza,
A future where children can live their dreams.”
Ride Palestine photos by Christy McDonald, Lots more about the Ride and Celebration at www.RideForPalestine.com.