Pro-Palestine protesters in NYC clash with police after ignoring order to disperse

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.


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