Thousands clashed with police Saturday in New York City as pro-Hamas rhetoric was spouted and an avenue was blocked off as part of a rally dubbed “Flood Brooklyn For Palestine.”
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where a sizable Middle Eastern community had brought some longtime residents to begin referring to it as Beirut, was the planned locale for a massive demonstration Saturday protesting Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 terror attacks.
Of course, with slogans like “Zionism is genocide” and “Resistance is justified when people are occupied,” the rally was admittedly not merely in favor of an end to conflict, but favored the end of Israel.
“We are not like other groups simply calling for a cease-fire,” the New York Post detailed an event organizer from “Within Our Lifetime” stating. “We are calling not simply for an end to genocide. We are calling for an end to the siege, and end to the blockade. An end to the occupation.”
On the National Day of Action for Gaza FLOOD BROOKLYN FOR PALESTINE All out Saturday October 21st in Bay Ridge as we take to the streets to collectively demand an END to U.S. sponsored genocide in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/9gMVETDfuy
— Within Our Lifetime (@WOLPalestine) October 15, 2023
The sentiments, which also included the organizer shouting, “We are calling for full liberation of all of Palestine…to every single inch, from river to the sea,” and protesters refusal to disperse while blocking 5th Ave., primarily in the area of 72nd St., led to tense and occasionally violent conflicts with members of the NYPD along with a number of arrests.
— Oliya Scootercaster (@ScooterCasterNY) October 22, 2023
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn: NYPD attempt to clear a road that was shut down by pro-Palestine protesters. pic.twitter.com/FFLcTEhSWC
— Andy Ngô ️ (@MrAndyNgo) October 22, 2023
NYC: On Saturday night, chaos erupted between anti-Israel protesters and police after thousands from “Flood Brooklyn for Palestine” gathered in a predominantly Middle Eastern neighborhood, setting fires, stopping traffic, and refusing to comply with cops.pic.twitter.com/y4enMWuP7y
— Julia (@Jules31415) October 22, 2023
According to the Lawyers Guild, 20 protesters were arrested after police had ordered them to disperse, warning that they were participating in disorderly conduct. The Post indicated that around two dozen had been taken into custody, but it was unclear if there had been arrests or if only summons had been issued. In either case, the organizations in support of the rally cried foul.
Vicious police just arrested about 20 protesters at the Palestine protest in Bay Ridge Brooklyn.
This the criminalization of Palestine protests in New York City. pic.twitter.com/Z2zEsVviDo
— The Flame of Liberation ⭐️ (@FOL_Liberation) October 22, 2023
The NYPD released a statement detailing the night’s events.
“During the course of a planned protest for which a permit was not attained, officers encountered a mostly peaceful crowd. Some demonstrators within the crowd chose to act in a combative and aggressive manner. Officers were pushed, shoved, and struck by some demonstrators within the crowd after the LRAD (long-range acoustic device) device was utilized,” a NYPD spokesperson said, according to PIX11 News.
“Officers were struck with flying debris which included eggs, fireworks, and bottles,” the spokesperson continued. “Officers responded to this disruptive behavior and attempted to regain order by taking into custody those responsible for these actions. In the course of doing so, the officer seen in the video is reacting to active resistance by criminals within the crowd. The NYPD encourages peaceful protests but will not condone our officers being subjected to any form of violence.”
Other video from the protest showed as officers attempted to clear the avenue they were met with shouts of “F*ck you, pig!” and other jeers.
Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY
During a pro hamas/ pro Palestinians protest.
Protesters fight with NYPD officers pic.twitter.com/ggjqLJoTZy
— Viral News NYC (@ViralNewsNYC) October 22, 2023
Meanwhile, as the police also kept pro-Israel counter-protesters away from the event, others signs displayed pointed to New York Democratic politicians including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Gov. Kathy Hochul, Sen. Chuck Schumer and even President Joe Biden as having “Blood On Their Hands” for not siding with their cause.
“We stand in solidarity. United States is an abomination,” read another sign as others held up placards that read “Biden Kills Babies.”
In reaction to the protest, Jewish Republican City Councilmember Ari Kagan took to X and wrote, “Today in Bay Ridge there was a rally against ‘Genocide in Gaza’. No speaker mentioned HAMAS atrocities against innocent Israeli civilians. And crowd chanted Hamas slogan: ‘From the river to the sea Palestine will be free! — advocating for eradication of Jews from Israel.”
“This was not a rally for a two state solution or for liberation of Gaza from Hamas or public call to free hundreds of kidnapped Israelis & Americans,” he contended. “It was a shameful pro-HAMAS & anti-Israel rally that I strongly condemn. [Thank you], @NYPDnews, for keeping Bay Ridge safe!
This was not a rally for a two state solution or for liberation of Gaza from HAMAS or public call to free hundreds of kidnapped Israelis & Americans. It was a shameful pro-HAMAS & anti-Israel rally that I strongly condemn.
TY, @NYPDnews, for keeping Bay Ridge safe! 2/2
— Council Member Ari Kagan (@CMAriKagan47) October 21, 2023
At the time of this post New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R), whose district includes Bay Ridge, had not issued a statement about the protests. However, others shared in Kagan’s sentiments and voice their frustration on social media.
Absolutely disgusted to read about today’s disgraceful display of AntiAmerican, AntiDecency, AntiSemitism in Bay Ridge. Former Pro-USA Italian / Irish / FDNY neighbourhood. Irish Catholic who once had relatives there. Beyond Horrified to see this.
— PracticalHare (@PracticalHare) October 22, 2023
This Bay Ridgeite thinks if Hamas didn’t kill >1,000 civilians, including the beheadings of women and children, they wouldn’t be in this predicament. #FAFO
— Jerry Kane (@nyjerrykane) October 21, 2023
I am horrified to report that the same hateful anti-Semitic sign photographed at a rally in Warsaw was spotted at the Bay Ridge Brooklyn rally today. One of your people @nycDSA ?
“Dirty Jew” is a disgusting phrase used by the Nazis to justify extermination of the Jewish… https://t.co/y0DLfMS2ve
— Maria Danzilo (@Maria4Dist6) October 22, 2023
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