42nd Street & The World: Free, Free Palestine
December 31, 2008
Hundreds of marches in different cities around the world made known their solidarity with the oppression of the Palestinian people. A people who for the last 60 years have seen nothing but displacement, racism, and pillaging. In the United States, the ANSWER Coalition along with dozens of community groups sponsored marches in cities across the United States. In New York City, after nearly 4,000 people marched on Sunday afternoon, over 2,000 hit the streets again after work in front of the Israeli Consulate on 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue.
For 2 hours local organizers spoke over a loud speaker about the history of occupation in Palestine, the US’s vested interest in the Middle East, and a call to action regardless of whoever is in the White House. Classic anti-war chants were retooled to fit the anti-occupation and pro-Palestinian fervor. Michael Letwin of New York City Labor Against War spoke of major Union Leadership and its contribution to the assault, as well as, the need for the fight to continue until the current seige is over and the blockades are broken. Folks from the ANSWER Coalition hyped the crowd up, providing some of the most motivational and intense solidarity and chanting I’ve ever witnessed at any demonstration. Members of various ethnicity were out in support. Among the the Palestinian flags were enormous Dominican and Puerto Rican flags. Student groups, a rabbi, and a local progressive church pastor spoke out in solidarity.
Across the street around 40 Zionists tried their best to defend Israel’s aggression with signs that read “Israel Must Defend Itself” and “Hamas is the Terrorist.” The media came out and covered both sides, although the video on WPIX’s article online spends nearly the entire video focusing on the counter-protest and one of its speakers.
ANSWER Coalition has sponsored another rally in Times Square on January 3rd, 2008 at 1PM.