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New Yorkers protest Trump and Netanyahu meeting

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February 18, 2017
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NYC marches for a free Palestine. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

On Feb. 15 protesters gathered on the corner of 5th and 57th, across the street from Trump Towers. The protest was called because earlier that day President Trump and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had just finished meeting in Washington DC, where they colluded against the Palestinians.

The rally was led Nerdeen Kiswani, an organizer with New York City Students for Justice in Palestine, with chants such as "Donald Trump let's be clear, refugees are welcome here!" and “It is right to rebel! Netanyahu go to hell!”

From the day that Trump became the president-elect, it was clear that the new administration would strengthen the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Netanyahu even recorded a video congratulating Trump on his presidential victory.

Kiswani addressed the crowd, "We've been against the establishment of Israel since it was created over 70 years ago! People are just now waking up because it's Trump's face and not Obama doing the same exact thing. It didn't start with Trump, but it starts with American imperialism!"

The crowds continued chanting in between speeches, "From Palestine to Mexico, racist walls have got to go!” and "Israeli Zionists! Number one terrorists!" 

David Letwin, from Jews for Palestinian Right to Return, said, "The Jewish state was not borne out of not the desire to protect Jews from anti-Semitism, but a 19th century romantic obsession on states created out of racists ideals. And the Jews for Palestinians Right to Return look forward to the day when there isn't a state based on those ideals and supports those Palestinians who call for a single state throughout historic Palestine on principles for equality and justice for all."

Nina Macapinlac, the North East Regional Coordinator of Bayan USA, said in a fiery speech, “The real terrorists are not the Palestinians and the refugees. The real terrorists are the imperialists and the Zionists who displace and villainize them. We’re here alongside our Palestinian brothers and sisters and all oppressed nationalities of the world do demand sovereignty and self-determination. And only through unity against the imperialist and Zionist ruling classes will we truly be free.”

At around 7:30 p.m., the rally turned into a march as second group of protesters organized by Jewish Voices for Peace joined the rally. Several hundreds marched to Trump Tower international at Columbus Circle. Loud chants such as "Donald Trump you're a coward! We will take your fucking tower!" were heard as the protesters marched alongside Central Park.

At the tower, protesters rallied with a lot of spirit. Kiswani ended the night with the chant "New York City you will see, Palestine will be free!" And "New York City you will learn, refugees will return!" 

The protest was called for by NY4Palestine, a coalition comprised of Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) – NJ, NY Muslim American Society (MAS), New York City Students for Justice in Palestine (NYCSJP), Jews for Palestinian Right of Return (JFPROR), International Action Center (IAC), The Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), and The Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

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