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Clashes Erupt in Bay Ridge Between Hamas Supporters and NYPD During Violent Protest

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By: Fern Sidman

Tensions reached a boiling point on Saturday night in Brooklyn as thousands of anti-Israel and pro-Hamas demonstrators flooded the streets, clashing with the police and obstructing traffic, as was reported by the New York Post. The “Flood Brooklyn for Palestine” rally started as a massive gathering in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, known for its sizable Arab and Middle Eastern communities. As the day turned into night, the peaceful protest descended into chaos, with protesters vehemently opposing the United States’ support for Israel, according to the Post report.

 The day began with approximately 5,000 pro-Hamas protesters demanding an end to U.S. support for Israel, its closest Middle East ally. However, as the sun set, a more aggressive and confrontational atmosphere emerged, the report in the Post said. Protesters blocked traffic, hurled abuse at the police, and even set small fires on the roadways.

When the NYPD attempted to disperse the crowd from 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue, the pro-Hamas demonstrators dug in their heels and resisted, as was indicated in the Post report. Officers resorted to pulling individuals out of the masses, which included a pickup truck carrying protesters waving the Palestinian flag.

 “It got pretty heated,” remarked a law enforcement source, reflecting the intensity of the confrontation. Reports included instances of protesters lobbing eggs at the police as tensions flared, the Post report added.

Despite the chaos, the precise number of people detained by the NYPD remains uncertain. Approximately two dozen individuals were taken into custody, but it is unclear whether they were formally arrested or issued summonses.

The Post reported that the protest was marked by vocal and impassioned expressions of solidarity with Palestine. One protester boldly declared, “We are calling for full liberation of all of Palestine… to every single inch, from river to the sea.” The report added that this refrain echoed the demands of Hamas terrorists and anti-Israel activists. The same protester who was wearing a T-shirt of one of the event’s organizers, the radical leftist group Within Our Lifetime added, “We are not like other groups simply calling for a cease-fire. We are calling not simply for an end to genocide. We are cal

ling for an end to the siege, an end to the blockade. An end to the occupation.”

The anti-Israel demonstration featured participants of all ages, from young children to seniors. The Post also reported that chants reverberated through the crowd, such as “Say it loud, say it clear, we don’t want no Zionists here!” The pro-Hamas protesters waved Palestinian flags and held signs that proclaimed, “Zionism is genocide” and “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.”

 A protester named Amy told the Post, “It’s Brooklyn, so it’s little Palestine. I’m here because I’ve been feeling angry about what’s happening, and coming out here and yelling in support with the community is a good thing for everyone.”

Some demonstrators were seen holding distasteful posters, including one that depicted someone tossing the Israeli flag into the trash with a message that read, “Please keep the world clean,” the Post report said.

While there were those who openly expressed their support for Palestine, some critics voiced their concerns about the protest that turned violent on the streets of Bay Ridge. According to the Post report, City Councilmember Ari Kagan criticized the demonstrators on the X social media platform, stating that the protest appeared to advocate further violence under the guise of advocating for freedom. He pointed out that no speaker mentioned the Hamas atrocities committed against innocent Israeli civilians.

“This was not a rally for a two state solution or for liberation of Gaza or public call to free hundreds of kidnapped Israelis & Americans. It was a shameful anti-Israel rally that I strongly condemn,” Kagan posted.

Critics, both at the scene and on social media, expressed concerns about the radical demands of the protesters, which called for the complete destruction of Israel. The Post report said that some labeled the neighborhood as supporters of the Hamas terror group, while others condemned the marchers for their stance.

Demonstrations have been ongoing since the recent violence erupted when Hamas launched a terrorist attack against the communities of southern Israel on October 7th which left over 1400 Israelis and other dead and close to 5000 seriously wounded. What was highlighted in the deadly rampage was the level of unspeakable barbarism and sadism involved on the part of Hamas. Israelis and others were shot execution style, women were raped, babies were murdered and beheaded and people were burned alive. Moreover, Hamas terrorists took over 200 people hostage including American citizens.

In one Manhattan demonstration against the conflict, angry pro-Hamas supporters displayed swastikas and burned an Israeli flag.

The Post also reported that on Friday, 139 pro-Palestinian protesters attending a demonstration organized by the Democratic Socialists of America were arrested for blocking traffic in Manhattan.

The protest in Brooklyn is just one example of the broader demonstrations and sentiments triggered by the recent conflict, with both sides grappling with complex and deeply held views and opinions on the issue.

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