Activists Demand U.S. Attorney Enforce Leahy Law

Demonstrators outside Acting U.S. Attorney of Massachusetts' office demanding justice for Gaza Photo: Grace Sanford/MAPA

by Nick Mottern

On Tuesday, January 23rd, rallies took place at federal courthouses in Worcester, Springfield, and Boston to employ Massachusetts representatives to enforce the Leahy Law, which refers to U.S. law stating that the U.S. government cannot use funds to aid foreign entities engaging in potential human rights abuses. The calls to enforce the Leahy Law comes in response to Israel’s explicit targeting of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. There were upwards of about 150 people at all three locations promoting a ceasefire in Gaza and employing Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Joshua Levy, to invoke the Leahy Law to stop the United States’ complicity in the Palestinian genocide.


A protestor outside of the Boston Federal Courthouse urging the U.S. government to stop arming Israel Photo: Grace Sanford/MAPA


At least 50 people rallied at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Boston, the site of the main office of Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Joshua Levy. The remarks of the speakers are attached.

It was bitter cold, probably because the courthouse is on the harbor, but all attending were determined, were in high spirits and rocked the canyon of buildings with “Enforce the Leahy Law” chants.

WGBH sent a reporter and a radio report aired.  There were no other reporters present in spite of a series of press releases being sent and follow-up calls being made by Louise Coleman, of MAPA.

MAPA intern Grace Sanford did a video recording as well, which we will air soon.



Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, organizer of the rally, reports:

52 people showed up for the rally held outside the Federal Courthouse in Worcester, MA. Much more than organizers expected. The crowd included university students, members of the Worcester Islamic Society, Catholic Workers, progressive activists and concerned, everyday folk.

Attorney Tahira Amatul-Wadud, executive director of CAIR Massachusetts spoke as did Asmaa Elkabti, a Palestinian American woman with extended family members in Gaza many of whom were killed in this war.

I also read Jeanne Allen’s fine statement.

Additionally, a reporter with GBH called me after the rally and aired a short bit about the Worcester event during tonight’s evening news, sometime after 5:30 p.m. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to find a link for the clip which was less than a minute but made the point. Good ole Spectrum News showed up as well and gave us coverage. You can view here.


About 40 people came to the Springfield rally, including a man who traveled over an hour to come from Pittsfield.  Peter Kakos, an organizer of the rally writes:

Hey, y’all,

You were wonderful to come down today to Springfield to support-and speak!. 

What an uplifting spirit was present, enough to change the world, if they only knew how life-changing our message of Ireenay! can be -for one and all.

Priscilla’s words were moving and inspiring. THANKS MUCH!

And the +/- forty supporters were fabulous, from 18 to 88! 

And who could ask for more than we received from the JVP mom, bringing us to tears by her compassion for all.

Bless you all, for you are a blessing to me-and our Leahy Fast.

A reporter from The Springfield Republican and this picture report appeared in the middle of the front page today.