New York NY, July 12—On the evening of July 11, 400 New Yorkers gathered at Union Square in lower Manhattan to protest the escalation of Israel’s ongoing violence against Palestinians, and to reaffirm their support for the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. (photos)
As of early morning on Saturday, July 12, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza reported that Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip had killed 114 Palestinians—of whom 94 were civilians, including 26 children and 18 women. 799 others had been wounded, mostly civilians.
Activists handed out fliers to passersby and held signs and banners expressing sorrow and outrage over the attacks on Palestinians, and urging international solidarity in the form of BDS. Dozens of protesters wore signs each bearing the name of a Palestinian killed by Israel in Gaza over the last days. Marching down Broadway south of Union Square through Friday evening traffic, the group called out chants including, “Gaza is under attack! What are you gonna do? Stand up, fight back!” and “BDS - heed the call, fight for justice...for all!”
Demonstrators stopped in front of the Max Brenner Chocolate Bar on Broadway to highlight the importance of boycotting this business, whose parent company, the Strauss Group, boasts of its support for Israel’s Golani and Givati Brigades. Both brigades have long records of human rights abuses and were heavily involved in Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 2008–9 assault on Gaza that killed approximately 1,400 Palestinians, including 350 children. Poised to invade Gaza again, the Givati Brigade commander recently declared that he and his soldiers are in a war to “wipe out” an “enemy who defames” God.
Many protesters also wrote out messages of solidarity for Palestinians enduring the Israeli attacks in Gaza. Israel has bombed over 149 Palestinian homes in Gaza during this current aggression, killing whole families, a war crime according to PCHR.
Yesterday's demonstration followed July 7 and July 9 protests in New York and came as worldwide objections to Israel’s assault on Gaza intensified. Palestinian students from the Gaza Strip have called for international support in ending the Israeli military assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns targeting Israel. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has compiled resources for U.S.-based activists.