Bay Ridge Protesters Rally for Palestine

Protestors march along sixth avenue Bayridge, Brooklyn By Damien Ovalle


“If we don’t get it, shut It down!” chanted pro-Palestinian protesters marching down Bay Ridge Parkway on December 2. Nearly a hundred demonstrators to demand a ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The Mas Youth Center, a Muslim youth center, organized the “all out for Palestine”march which started in Bay Ridge Brooklyn and wound up at the group’s center in Bensonhurst.

The Mas Youth Center serves Muslim youth in the Bensonhurst area. For the December 2 march, the center connected with other organizations, including the Palestinian Youth Movement, a national organization that has led walkouts and protests in California, New York, Texas, Washington D.C and the Canadian cities of Montreal and Ottawa.

Another participating group, HealthCare Workers for Palestine, is a network of U.S. healthcare workers who are against the occupation of Israel. The group, which started with a few individuals after the invasion of Gaza began, now has chapters in several major cities including New York, San Francisco, San Diego, New Orleans, and Dallas. The group has called for a ceasefire and for the United States to end its support for Israel in the current conflict.

Calling for workers to support the Palestinian people, Health Care Workers has led walkouts in these same cities along with protests on college campuses, including  Brown, Cornell, Stanford, and Harvard.

The Bay Ridge rally started along Sixth Avenue, where youth leaders stood above a U-haul truck that showed the pictures of Palestinian journalists who died covering the news in Gaza. The NYPD surrounded the area wary, but there were no arrests.

Protesters chanted, “Shut it down,”“Joe Biden has got to go,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Emotions were strong with protestors, banners, flags, and all showing support for Palestine.

Protesters continued to travel down the avenue, blocking traffic with the help of NYPD and catching the attention of all who lived nearby. Residents looked out their windows and passersby recorded the encounter.

Marchers stopped twice so that those who were Muslim could pray.

“Allison,”  who didn’t want to give her real name, is a student nurse and a core member of the NYC sector of HealthCare Workers for Palestine. “I’ve been a part of HealthCare Workers for Palestine since it came about organically back when the bombing campaign of Gaza began,” said Allison.

However, people participating in these organizations run the risk of losing their jobs, having their own companies and hospitals threatening them and attempting to silence them.

“There have been members who have been called out by their hospitals, Reprimanded, called to H.R (Human Resources), they have been threatened with suspension and we had a couple of folks who have been fired,” said Allison. Members of the group continue to fight not only for the Palestinian People but fight the country in which they live.

“I would encourage others to get involved,” Allison said.