[Marxism] NYC rally against Israeli aggression

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Wed Jul 19 12:09:10 MDT 2006

Responding to Yoshie's inquiry, it was, as a couple of other people 
noted, a very spirited demonstration of, perhaps, 1,000 people. I 
took a bus to the rally and passed it going downtown at about 4:45. 
At that point the area reserved, a one-block stretch, was packed 
except for the sidewalk area left open for pedestrians. And it 
continued to grow for some time after that. Others have commented on 
the demographics -- a lot of young people and Arabs, especially 
Lebanese, as might be expected. I even ran into one of our high 
school interns, a young Lebanese woman, who thanked me for showing up 
and said she had found out about the demonstration on Pacifica radio 
station WBAI, which she had only recently started listening to.

I heard from a number of people, all Arabs, that publicity for the 
demonstration was lacking, and that they had heard by word of mouth 
only days or hours before. According to one woman I spoke to, an Arab 
member of ISO, this reflects, in part, the historic marginalization 
of the Arab community (and generally, oppressed communities) from the 
anti-war movement. This problem was also reflected in a dialogue 
between another Lebanese woman and a liberal demonstrator. At one 
point, a Zionist came into the demonstration and began haranguing us 
about being terrorists, etc., etc. The young Lebanese woman responded 
angrily, telling the Zionist that she was in the in the wrong place 
and should leave. The liberal, an older white woman, went over to the 
Arab woman and told her "what you have to do is tell them 'we want 
peace, we want peace'.

Following the end of the demonstration, a sizeable group of 
protestors marched down 42nd Street, harangued and threatened 
continuously by a police lieutenant and his troops, "you had your 
demonstration, now end it on a good note," he said. The crowd 
continued to march several blocks before the lieutenant roped in one 
of the rally organizers (I don't know who he was or what organization 
he was with) and had him disperse the crowd, "so we can maintain good 
relations with the police."

There will be another demonstration on July 27, and thereafter, for 
as long as the aggression continues.
Michael Friedman
Doctoral Candidate in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior
City University of New York

Molecular Systematics Laboratory
Department of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street at Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

More information about the Marxism mailing list