On Saturday, thousands of anti-Israel protesters took to the streets in New York City — where they clashed with police officers, ultimately leading to around two dozen arrests.
During the “Flood Brooklyn for Palestine” demonstration, roughly 5,000 people descended upon Bay Ridge at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue — one of the largest Arab and Middle Eastern communities in New York City. The protesters waved Palestinian flags and demanded that the U.S. stop supporting Israel.
In footage of the incident, police officers can be seen trying to escort the crowd out of the area as they had been blocking the street for several hours — shutting down traffic. Several protesters also set small fires, according to the New York Post. Roughly two dozen activists were arrested during the demonstration.
“It got pretty heated,” one law enforcement source told the outlet.
Chaos at a Pro-Palestinian protest in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.
Cops are sparring with and arresting protesters. #HamasTerrorAttacks #ProHamas #protest @NYPDnews @BayRidge11209 #Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/fSkjiyqA4X
— The Jewish Voice (@JewishVoice) October 22, 2023
The protesters outright called for an end to Israel — demanding that the Jewish state cease to exist because it was an “occupation.”
“We are calling for full liberation of all of Palestine . . . to every single inch, from river to the sea,” shouted one female protester, who was wearing a t-shirt of one of the event organizers — the far-left group “Within Our Lifetime.”
“We are not like other groups simply calling for a cease-fire,” she continued, adding: “We are calling not simply for an end to genocide. We are calling for an end to the siege, an end to the blockade. An end to the occupation.”
Another protester was seen carrying a poster showing someone throwing the Israeli flag into the trash, according to the New York Post.
The event was widely criticized by Jewish Americans, including Republican City Council Member Ari Kagan — who spoke out against the pro-Palestine demonstrators’ calls for violence that they tried to disguise as calls for freedom.
“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. It was a shameful pro-HAMAS & anti-Israel rally that I strongly condemn,” Kagan wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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. It was a shameful pro-HAMAS & anti-Israel rally that I strongly condemn.
TY, @NYPDnews, for keeping Bay Ridge safe! 2/2
— Council Member Ari Kagan (@CMAriKagan47) October 21, 2023