The apparent rivalry between the NYPD and pro-Palestine protesters reached a boiling point on Sunday afternoon as the two groups clashed, resulting in a slew of arrests.
Photo by Dean Moses
NYPD officers and pro-Palestine protesters clashed during a major Midtown protest on Sunday afternoon, resulting in numerous arrests.
Nearly 1,000 protesters gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library in Bryant Park on Feb. 4 at around 12:30 p.m. Here attendees wearing masks, carrying signs, and waving flags told amNewYork Metro that they plan on marching until bombs stop falling in the Middle East.
“I feel depressed every day and the only time I feel a sense of community is when I come out to the protests,” a demonstrator who gave her name as Allison said. “The immediate goal is for a ceasefire.”
While the protesters say their objective is to demand change overseas, they also charge they have developed an ongoing conflict at home with the NYPD, who were out in force on Sunday.
Those who consistently take to the streets accused police of slowly but surely whittling away at their right to protest — making arrests for the crowds using bullhorns or when they attempt to march in the roadway.
When the protesters got to 40th Street, they attempted to set off in a different direction — and within seconds, the first arrest was made. The large crowd then took to the roadway where cops warned marchers to return to the sidewalk under threat of being cuffed for obstructing traffic. This heated exchange led to cops and Palestine supporters coming face-to-face and, ultimately, several more arrests.
As the afternoon wore on and the NYPD continued to make arrests, some protesters accused police of targeting specific individuals who are known for their participation in previous protests.
However, while police have not officially responded to amNewYork Metro’s request for comment, cops on the scene cited the cause for the arrests as being related to open warrants and for disorderly conduct.