Casper Protesters Say Israel Provoked Terrorist Attack

A small group called Freedom Gets the Final Say gathered on the steps of Casper’s city administration building Wednesday to support Palestine in its fight with Israel, saying Hamas was provoked to attack.

DK
Dale Killingbeck

November 30, 20235 min read

Protesters lay with sheets over their bodies to depict Palestinians who have been killed.
Protesters lay with sheets over their bodies to depict Palestinians who have been killed. (Dale Killingbeck, Cowboy State Daily)

CASPER — A pause of fighting in Gaza between Hamas terrorists and Israel didn’t deter a group of 14 mostly black-clad protesters to gather outside Casper city offices Wednesday and call for a permanent cease fire, as well as demand local officials join their movement to “free Palestine.”

Some of the protesters staged a “die-in,” lying prone as if dead with sheets made up to appear to be bloody covering their bodies.

“We’re a small grassroots movement called Freedom Gets the Final Say and our objective is for the liberation of all,” said protester Catie Reay of Casper. “No one is free until everyone is free.”

Reay, an organizer of the event, used a bullhorn to lead chants, then passed it to other members of the group as a few police officers blocked the door to the city office building at 123 W. 1st St.

The protesters said they wanted to get the attention of Wyoming’s congressional delegation and the United States to intervene to help end the hostilities.

“The objective is to get our local officials to call and demand for a permanent cease-fire and an end to the occupation,” Reay said, adding they want local Casper officials to put the heat on Wyoming representatives in Washington. “Our phones and our emails go ignored. We know that every single one of them has taken money from AIPAC, we know that every single one of them is bought out by the pro-Israel lobby, and yet we still demand that they listen to our voices.”

Freedom Gets the Final Say protesters tell Casper to urge the U.S. to intervene in the Israel-Hamas fight and “end the occupation."
Freedom Gets the Final Say protesters tell Casper to urge the U.S. to intervene in the Israel-Hamas fight and “end the occupation." (Dale Killingbeck, Cowboy State Daily)

Wrong Target Audience

Casper City Council member Kyle Gamroth said while he appreciates the group’s right to protest, they were standing outside the wrong offices.

“Our federal representatives are the best people to put those views in front of,” he said. “I appreciate them exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Council member Steve Cathey agreed the group is free to protest and offer a position on any issue, and said he was asked if Wyoming’s lawmakers had been bought out by American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“No comment,” he said.

Hamas Was ‘Fighting Back’

One protestor who refused to give her name said the loss of life when Hamas launched its attack on Israel on Oct.7 — broadcast live by many attackers as they brutalized, shot, raped and murdered 1,200 Israelis and grabbed nearly 200 Jewish and other captives — was the result of Hamas “fighting back.”

“I am a Jewish person, I was raised Zionist, and unfortunately I heard a lot of hate speech coming from my family,” she said. “I decided to leave the Jewish community and do my own research.

“Hamas was fighting back on the apartheid and the genocide they (Israelis) have been causing for the last 75 years. (Israel) has killed 20,000 people, over 8,000 children right now and the news reporters have proven that Israel is lying.”

Thoughts From An Israeli

Mattani Ravenna, who arrived in Cheyenne from Israel in March and spent time as a police officer among the Palestinians, told Cowboy State Daily he knows many of them and characterizes them as “family.”

He said part of the problem is people hijacking the Palestinian cause for their own purposes.

“Gaza was part of Israel. And I have family who lived in Gaza. When Israel pulled out in 2005 it ethnically cleared its own people for the sake of peace. Gaza is not occupied by Israel it is occupied by Hamas,” he said. “Hamas was elected in 2007 and is a dictatorship.”

Ravenna said he understands the emotions people feel seeing photos of babies being carried away from bombed structures and feels the same way.

“There is a distortion of the evidence about who is to blame. It is Hamas,” he said. “They are using people as human shields. No Israeli is happy about the death of Palestinians.”

He pointed out there was peace on Oct. 6.

“If you say ‘free Palestine’ then the question is, free from what?” he asked. “Hamas has been stealing the aid. Their leaders are billionaires.”

Reay agreed that the actions of Hamas have been “horrendous,” but then blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for funding Hamas and for bombing houses, hospitals and U.N. facilities in the Gaza Strip.

“Netanyahu gave Hamas money to exist,” she said. “He paid for them to exist and continues to.”

Asked where they get their information about the war in Israel, the protesters said they don’t count on traditional news reporting.

“You can’t use mainstream media, you have to use first and secondary sources,” Reay said. “You have to see what is happening on the ground.”

First Street in Casper on Wednesday afternoon featured a group with signs protesting Israel and the current war that is on pause in the Gaza Strip.
First Street in Casper on Wednesday afternoon featured a group with signs protesting Israel and the current war that is on pause in the Gaza Strip. (Dale Killingbeck, Cowboy State Daily)

Dale Killingbeck can be reached at dale@cowboystatedaily.com.

Share this article

Authors

DK

Dale Killingbeck

Writer