Hundreds of protesters marched through New York City to voice opposition to Israeli annexation plans in the West Bank and the continued occupation of Palestinian territory as Tel Aviv gears up for a major land grab.
A sizable crowd of demonstrators gathered in Brooklyn for Wednesday’s ‘Day of Rage’ rally, where marchers were seen carrying an array of flags and banners while shouting slogans for a “free Palestine.”
تظاهرة حاشدة في مدينة نيويورك/امريكا دعما لفلسطين تحت مسمى يوم الغضب #DayofRagepic.twitter.com/b3TXZSLfAd
#DayofRage Palestine solidarity march taking over 5th ave in Brooklyn right now. pic.twitter.com/DsbzoREMO8
The gathering grew throughout the afternoon, according to local reporters at the scene, who estimated that some 2,000 people turned out for the rally. Though there were no reports of clashes with law enforcement, riot police were present, trying and failing at one point to corral protesters to one side of the street.
The crowd has grown to 1,000 at the #DayOfRage organized by @WOLPalestine. Riot police are present. pic.twitter.com/mvMMv4Wsjs
A tense moment at the #DayofRage march as police try to force over 2,000 protesters into the right lane at 63rd St. and 5th Ave. in Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/XF554Oa4Ah
Dozens of speakers from local organizations addressed the crowd during the march, while members of Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist Orthodox Jewish organization, were also spotted at the event carrying elaborate signs and placards.
Over 40 speakers from organizations across the city give testimony of their experiences and lead the crowd in chants. pic.twitter.com/MFYOjiyKlX
Neturei Karta, a group of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews who believe Israeli statehood goes against Talmudic law and support returning land to Palestinians, are here to support the protest. pic.twitter.com/FcDWeZaeRT
Reporting from the rally, RT’s Caleb Maupin spoke with a number of participants, who explained their reasons for showing up.
“I’m utterly opposed to Israeli annexation of Palestinian land. They’re living on stolen land, and they’ve been murdering and destroying people,” said one activist. “If you look at the map, you can see the amount of land that Palestinians have been allowed to live on has been decreasing rapidly over the years.”
“If they annex the Jordan Valley, it’s World War III. Everything is on the table, everything is a go,” another marcher told Maupin. “If you look at what’s going on, Netanyahu is taking Israel and the Arab world into World War III… after they annex the Jordan Valley, we’re talking about war.”
Similar rallies were also staged in New Mexico and California. Early on Wednesday morning, protesters gathered outside the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to protest against the annexation plan, calling on the lawmaker to join progressive Democrats in opposing the scheme, local media reported.
Happening now in San Francisco: People gathering at SF Civic Center for a car protest in solidarity with Palestine. No to annexation! No to apartheid! Defend Palestine! pic.twitter.com/f9zlAdEabi
“Palestine flags flying proudly as the line of cars completely encircles San Francisco’s Civic Center!” Via @JVPBayAreapic.twitter.com/KmdsFcAwMC
The protests come as Tel Aviv moves ahead on plans to annex all Jewish settlements in the West Bank – including in the strategically important Jordan Valley – many of which were built on Palestinian land in defiance of international law. While the move was initially slated for July 1, on Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested the plan would be delayed as talks continue with Washington, which has yet to give its formal blessing for the land grab.
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