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NYCLU, pols slam NYPD response to Palestine protest in Bay Ridge

May 20, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BAY RIDGE — POLICE ARRESTED 41 MARCHERS on Saturday at a “Flood Brooklyn for Gaza” rally in Bay Ridge, reports NY1, after clashes broke out following hours of peaceful protesting. While police and Mayor Adams told reporters at a Monday press conference that the protesters had been spitting at officers and had climbed atop a city bus, local politicians and activists described the arrests as an escalation of violence against pro-Palestine demonstrators and called for increased protections for free speech. “NYCLU protest monitors witnessed violent arrests, protestor injuries, and even arrests of credential members of the press… The NYPD should be doing all it can to honor New Yorkers’ right to speak out on the issues that matter to them, not engaging in violent suppression,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman wrote in a press statement. City Councilmember Justin Brannan, responding to a video of a protester being tackled, wrote that he had seen “no evidence of actions by protesters today that warranted such an aggressive response” and remarked that the rally had been held annually for years without incident. 

The rally marked the 76th anniversary of the “Nakba,” meaning “catastrophe,” referring to the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinian people in the wake of Israel’s establishment.

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