Media Contacts: Lamis Deek 917-607-0072; Dustin Langley
15,000 March Against Israel’s Crimes in Gaza
Police riot; beat, pepper spray, and arrest protesters
January 11–Today, more than 15,000 people rallied in Times Square to
protest Israel’s ongoing assault against the people of Palestine . The
demonstration stretched from 42nd Street south to 38 Street, along 7th Ave ,
and was followed by a spirited march past the New York Times building to the
Time Warner building on 58th Street where CNN’s New York office is located.
Organizers reported provocative and hostile police behavior throughout the
event. Police massed at the end of the march route began cursing, taunting
and attacking protesters. One uniformed cop was reported as yelling, "Why
don’t you all blow yourselves up?"
Eyewitnesses reported that the police used pepper spray in an unprovoked
assault on the protesters including teenagers and children as young as ten
years old. Others were pushed and struck by police.
At least 30 people were arrested during the day, and everyone who was
arrested was beaten by police, some severely. Most were arrested while
simply trying to leave at the end of the march, when police charged and
began arresting and beating people.
One provocateur grabbed a Palestinian flag and began trampling on it. When
onlookers attempted to retrieve the flag, they were attacked and nine were
Organizers are reporting that the attacks and arrests clearly targeted Arab
youth. Lamis Deek, human rights attorney and co-chair of Al-Awda New York,
said, "The systematic pattern of attacks and provocations and the sudden
appearance of police amass at the end of the march were clearly a message
from City Hall. This was clearly orchestrated and planned to try to attempt
to intimidate and silence the mass protests that have taken place here, and
will continue to take place. But these tactics will not keep us off the
streets. We outnumbered the rally in support of Israel ‘s crimes by a
hundred to one."
As this is being written, march organizers have received reports that an
undetermined number of people, including children, are still being held by
Organizers plan to pack the courtroom at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan at 9
am tomorrow morning when some of those arrested are being arraigned.