Shutting down New York City bridges and tunnels for Gaza!

Protesters march on Wall Street for Gaza, Jan. 8. SLL photos: Stephen Millies

Three bridges and tunnels in Manhattan, New York City, were shut down by supporters of Palestine on Jan. 8. They were the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, as well as the Holland Tunnel that links Manhattan with New Jersey.

The dramatic protest called by Shut It Down for Palestine was seen around the world. Police arrested 325 people who chanted as they were detained. 

The Palestinian Youth Movement hailed the dramatic action: “We jam the arteries of the city, and we reclaim the bridges and tunnels — which are funded by our taxes and fares — in solidarity with Palestine and all who are immiserated by the forces of capitalism and imperialism.”

At the same time, hundreds of people marched from City Hall to Wall Street. They rallied in the world’s center of evil, right across from the New York Stock Exchange.

Speakers addressed people in front of 23 Wall Street, the former headquarters of the “House of Morgan,” which at one time controlled many of the biggest U.S. corporations. Today’s JP Morgan Chase bank has nearly $4 trillion in assets.

Manolo De Los Santos, executive director of The People’s Forum, declared, “This is the Wall Street that enslaved our ancestors!” New York City became a financial center by being the bankers for the Southern slave masters.

Today JP Morgan Chase is a partner of Big Oil in sucking out billions in profits from Western Asia. Big Oil needs the apartheid state occupying Palestine to protect its empire.

A speaker from the Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, pointed out that “Wall Street is the heart of the U.S. imperialist project. That’s why we’re here … These financial institutions have been profiting off the blood of our people for generations – Black Rock, HD, JP Morgan, the list goes on and on … all of them are complicit in the genocide of our people.” 

Disrupting the Philharmonic

Rain didn’t stop a thousand people from marching in Manhattan on Friday night, Jan. 5, for Palestine. They gathered in front of the big reference library on Fifth Avenue and marched over to the New York Times, which lies about Palestine while Palestinian children are being killed. 

Hundreds then marched uptown to Lincoln Center, where an opera house and other facilities were built by evicting thousands of Puerto Rican families from their homes. It was a mini-Nakba, like the Nakba, that kicked 800,000 Palestinians from their homes by Zionist settlers in 1948.

Demonstrators disrupted the season opening of the New York Philharmonic, upsetting the tuxedo set.

Shut It Down for Palestine includes the Palestinian Youth Movement; Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition; The People’s Forum; ANSWER coalition; and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Jewish Voices for Peace; Neturei Karta, Jews United Against Zionism; and the Democratic Socialists of America also supported these protests.

The next step is to join hundreds of thousands and march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 13. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

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