Brooklyn Boro

Pro-Palestinian marchers shut down the Brooklyn Bridge

Thousands protest humanitarian crisis in Gaza, call for a free Palestine

October 29, 2023 Mary Frost
Pro-Palestine march on Brooklyn Bridge
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Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters shut down the Brooklyn Bridge at rush hour on Saturday afternoon to protest Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza and to call for an independent and free Palestine.

A phalanx of NYPD officers — some riding bicycles and others on foot — accompanied the marchers, while NYPD helicopters buzzed overhead.

Police told the Brooklyn Eagle that about 9,000 protesters began the march at the Brooklyn Museum at roughly 3 p.m. The front of the crowd reached the overpass shortly after 5 p.m. Police closed the bridge in both the inbound and outbound directions.

Groups of marchers shouted, “Free Palestine,” “Palestinian lives matter,” and the anti-Israel chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” among other slogans.

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“Palestinian children matter too,” was one of the messages in Saturday’s march over the Brooklyn Bridge. Another was “Free Gaza” and the anti-Israel sentiment, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

The pedestrian walkway was filled with a weekend crowd of tourists and locals, some of whom cheered the marchers on. A few climbed down onto the roadbed to join the procession. 

Several people seemed annoyed by the noisy crowd, however, and at least one man was outraged, leaning over the walkway railing and waving his fist angrily at them.

“Hamas killed so many people! How can you support this terror?” he yelled, referring to the horrific torture and murder of 1,300 innocent Jewish men, women and children by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.

The protesters yelled back that Israel was murdering thousands of Palestinians with its bombardment of Gaza. 

“Nobody wants them,” the man yelled. “Nobody wants the Palestinians.”

This man on the Brooklyn Bridge walkway yelled angrily at a cluster of pro-Palestinian marchers, and the marchers yelled back. Police broke up the confrontation. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

Cops told the antagonists to keep walking along their separate pathways, and after a few minutes the confrontation broke up.

The march came just one day after several Brooklyn officials were arrested at Grand Central Station during a demonstration, organized by Jewish Voices for Peace, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, according to reports in amNY and the New York Post. Arrested officials included Assemblymember Emily Gallagher (D-Greenpoint, Williamsburg), state Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant) and Councilmember Shahana Hanif (D-Park Slope, Gowanus, Borough Park).

Israel reportedly had boots on the ground in Gaza City as of Friday night, with the goal of eradicating Hamas and rescuing 220 kidnapped hostages thought to be held captive in a web of underground tunnels.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian marchers took over the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge at rush hour on Saturday. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is “catastrophic,” the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Saturday, according to CNN.

While Palestinians suffer, the top leaders of Hamas live “in air-conditioned comfort 2,000 kilometers away” in Qatar, long-time guests of Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, numerous sources, including Canada’s CBC, report.

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