New York, May 16, 2021: Amid the worst violence the region has witnessed, thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied in cities across the US on Saturday, calling for an end to Israeli atrocities on the Gaza Strip.
To demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians, rallies took place in cities including New York, Boston, Washington, Montreal and Dearborn, Michigan. About two thousand people turned out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, chanting “Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and held placards that read “End Israeli Apartheid” and “Freedom for Gaza.” Many protesters wore black and white, and red and white, keffiyeh scarves, while drivers sounded car horns and motorcyclists revved their engines as the sun beat down.
Among the protestors were several Jewish people, carrying placards that said “Not in my name” and “Solidarity with Palestine” as the protesters took over a street in the area which has a large Arab population.
The peaceful protests dubbed “Defend Palestine” were watched over by a few dozen police officers. “I’m here because I want a Palestinian life to equal an Israeli life and today it doesn’t,” said 35-year-old Emraan Khan, a corporate strategist from Manhattan, as he waved a Palestinian flag. “When you have a nuclear-armed state and another state of villagers with rocks it is clear who is to blame,” he added.
Alison Zambrano, a 20-year-old student, traveled from neighboring Connecticut for the demo. Mashhour Ahmad, a 73-year-old Palestinian who has lived in New York for 50 years, said “don’t blame the victim for the aggression.”
The demonstrators called on President Joe Biden to stop supporting the killing of innocent Palestinians and to support the victims. President Joe Biden spoke separately Saturday with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, expressing his “grave concern” over six days of violence that has left scores dead or wounded.
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