Thousands of community organizers and activists gathered on the streets of Bay Ridge this past Saturday to support Palestine amid rising tensions with Israel.
Saturday’s march started on the corner of 74th Street and Fifth Avenue before proceeding through the portion of the neighborhood commonly known as “Little Palestine.”
The event was organized by the Palestinian community organization Within Our Lifetime and was also meant to commemorate Nabka Day, which Palestinians mark as the beginning of their displacement from the State of Israel in 1948.
The group has organized multiple marches and events since its founding in 2015, but none have matched the size and attention of the Saturday event. Within Our Lifetime estimates that approximately 50,000 people attended.
Protestors repeated the refrain “Free Palestine” throughout the afternoon, and continued marching and chanting well into the evening. In addition to Palestinians, members of the group Jewish Voice for Peace attended the march and expressed their support of the Palestinian people.
“As one ummah we stand united together,” Malik Ismail, a Palestinian Bay Ridge resident, told the Star. “For our brothers and sisters in Palestine we will continue to fight for your freedom till there is no more oppression and genocide anymore.”
Elsewhere in Brooklyn, members of the Jewish Voice for Peace marched to the home of Senator Chuck Schumer and demanded that he work to cut funding to Israel. Outside of the politician’s home the protestors left cards with the names of Palestnians who have been killed by Israeli airstrikes.
The pinnacle of Saturday’s activity came when a crowd blocked one side of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, halting traffic.