Maria Hernandez Park was the location this past weekend for one of the latest protests in support of Palestine, as the Israeli-led war over in Gaza passed its 85th day. The quiet action on the weekend afternoon, right before the new year had been organized, by members of the groups Shut it down 4 Palestine and the People’s Forum NYC and was more of a chance to continue calls for a ceasefire and bring attention to various injustices brought upon the Palestinians by differing people and leaders over in Israel and the U.S. Like other pro-Palestine rallies in Brooklyn, they also sought to draw attention to another, later rally happening a day later on New Years Eve, over in Manhattan. 

“We get some of the best connection with the communities when we scale down and we do smaller actions like this,” a youthful organizer could be heard saying while asking if anyone among the small contingent of about 25-30 people would like any hot tea on that chilly, mid-winter afternoon. A group of rabbis had shown up too, from the anti-Zionist orthodox group Neturei Karta.

In multiple languages, various organizers and speakers spoke of the current state of affairs in regards to the ongoing war, referring to it multiple times as a genocide. Speakers relayed news about the current death toll being reported by Gaza officials, now at over 21,000; others complained about the use of American taxpayer money to pay for Israeli military operations. 

Tension did erupt briefly, when a woman wearing sunglasses and a grey sweatshirt, started jumping up and down and interrupted one of the speakers and began chanting the word “Israel” in a mocking tone. The small crowd largely tried to ignore the solitary counter-protester, while the group of rabbis chided her to leave. She did. 

“We just want to keep Palestine on the minds of the people,” the organizer from before could be heard telling the crowd later.

Images taken by Neil Constantine for Bushwick Daily.

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