Moslemtoday.com : Thousands of people took to the streets of Times Square in New York City on Friday, October 13, 2023, wearing red, black and green, the colors of the Palestinian flag. They shouted support for Palestinians who were under Israeli military bombardment in the Gaza Strip.
“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” shouted the crowd on the streets of Times Square as reported by Middle East Eye, Tuesday, (17/10/2023).
Security forces guarded the protest, which was considered the largest protest in New York City in support of Palestine in recent days.
In New York City, police officers stood on every corner monitoring the protests and counter-protests that followed.
“Every member of the New York Police Department (NYPD) will be ready and in uniform tomorrow,” New York Police Department patrol chief John Chell said in a statement.
“We will not tolerate any hatred, any acts of chaos. This will be put down immediately and we will be ready,” he said.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul ordered the New York State National Guard to patrol important transportation hubs due to the protests.
“Everyone has to go about their daily lives,” said Rebecca Weiner, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.
“We see tensions rising. We saw several protests over the weekend. We will continue to see protests today through the weekend. “People have hot tempers, but we don’t see any violence, and that’s what we will ensure,” he said.
Maria, a protester in Times Square, told Middle East Eye that security levels in Manhattan were “very tight.”
“I was at Brooklyn College yesterday and there were police there, but not this many. I don’t know if they are here to protect us or watch over us,” he said.
Mosaab Sadeia, an organizer and member of the New York chapter of Young Muslims, a national youth organization, told Middle East Eye that the protest was badly needed.
“We see the importance of defending truth and justice when the world has abandoned Palestine. “We want the world to know that the Palestinian issue will not be ignored by society, even if world leaders turn a blind eye to the genocide in Gaza,” he said.
Atif Khan attended the protest with a group of his friends. They carried Palestinian flags and wore keffiyehs around their necks and heads. He told MEE it was important for him to be there because it was “the least I could do”.
“We are not in a war zone. If I am physically safe, I will do what I can and make their voices heard,” he said. ***