Statement on Times Square Palestine Protest Held on October 8, 2023

October 11, 2023

Statement on Times Square Palestine Protest Held on October 8, 2023

On Sunday, October 8th, thousands of New Yorkers gathered in Times Square to stand in solidarity with Palestine. The rally took place a day after Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza initiated an unprecedented liberation struggle, the “Al-Aqsa Flood,” in response to accelerating attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and in defiance of Israel’s efforts to ghettoize, besiege, starve, and suffocate the people of Gaza into total submission. As the organizers of this protest, we called on our communities in New York to rally behind a simple message: We stand with the Palestinian people. We defend their fundamental right to resist an illegal occupation, break out of their concentration camp, and defy the cruelty of the sixteen-year Zionist blockade.

These events not only shattered the myth of Israeli military invulnerability, they also demonstrated that the status quo—the promulgation of colonial settlements, the arming of pogromist mobs, the imprisonment and criminalization of Palestinians without charge or trial, the desecration of holy sites, and the daily humiliations of military rule and siege—is fundamentally untenable. The obscenity of the occupation will always be met with resistance.

The challenge now, for all people of conscience, is to meet the current moment with moral clarity and principle. The only conceivable way to deliver justice is to confront the true source of violence: the colonial project of Zionism that has laid itself atop the body of Palestine, sowing seeds of genocidal dehumanization that continue to bear the bitterest fruits.

With the passage of time, the righteousness of historic liberation struggles comes to be seen as obvious, inevitable, and undeniable. But as students of history, we understand how decolonization movements that are today celebrated as heroic—from South Africa to Algeria to Vietnam—were once denounced as unconscionable, extremist, and senseless at the time they unfolded. We can understand this week’s events only by situating them in the context of the ongoing, global struggle for a world liberated from exploitation and oppression.

We affirm our right to gather, rally, and protest in defense of Palestine. This is as much a moral right as it is a legal one. Efforts to smear and defame supporters of Palestinian liberation will enter the ledgers of history as shameful, but ultimately surmountable, roadblocks on the path towards true and lasting liberation.

For Palestinians in the diaspora, and for all those who stand on the side of the oppressed, demonstrating our support for the people of Palestine is not a whim but a duty. As Palestinians in Gaza shoulder the heaviest burden—and pay the dearest price—for tending to the flame of our collective liberation, we mobilize in the belly of the beast because we understand that we have a unique role to play in combating material support for Zionism, and weakening the handmaiden of U.S. global imperialism.

Sunday’s rally, alongside similar protests across the world, are expressions of an international spirit of solidarity that unites us across our differences. As politicians, government officials, and media outlets ramp up efforts to manufacture consent for genocide against Gaza, we take to the streets to show the people of Palestine that they are never alone.

The whole world is watching, and waiting, for daylight to break on a free Palestine. 



Palestinian Youth Movement

The People’s Forum

Party for Socialism and Liberation

Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, National and New York

Palestinian Assembly for Liberation

American Muslims for Palestine New Jersey

ANSWER Coalition