Activists were arrested for disrupting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Activists were arrested for disrupting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to protest Israel's genocidal war on Gaza in New York City on November 23, 2023.

(Photo: Shedrick Pelt)

Protesters Arrested Disrupting Macy's Parade Over Genocide in Gaza

"What we are witnessing right now in Palestine is one of the greatest human rights issues of our time," said Seven Circles Alliance.

A small number of demonstrators were arrested on Thursday for disrupting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Sixth Avenue in New York City to protest Israel's "ongoing ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians" in the Gaza Strip.

"Floats, marching bands, and the parade's iconic balloons were navigating around the protesters as cops moved in to make arrests," the New York Daily Newsreported. "Protestors clad in white jumpsuits, some emblazoned with the words 'Colonialism,' 'Militarism,' and 'Ethnic Cleansing' poured fake blood on one another and the roadway."

Taking credit for the direct action, Seven Circles Alliance said in a statement that the coalition of climate, social justice, and political activists is calling on the United States to "cease its support for Israel's occupation of Palestine" and for both the U.S. and Israel to recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"A free Palestine and the liberation and decolonization of all people, everywhere is deeply linked with the climate movement," the alliance asserted. "If the powers of the West are unabashedly supporting genocide and ethnic cleansing, it is crystal clear that they will not budge an inch in addressing climate breakdown and preventing societal collapse. Climate is a human rights issue, and what we are witnessing right now in Palestine is one of the greatest human rights issues of our time."

The direction action wasn't the only expression of solidarity with Palestine during Thursday's parade. Someone riding on the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe float also held up a Palestinian flag.

Israeli airstrikes and raids in Gaza have killed more than 14,500 Palestinians, including over 6,000 children, since Israel declared war in response to a Hamas-led attack on October 7. The assault has also displaced about three-quarters of the besieged strip's 2.3 million residents and devastated civilian infrastructure.

Massive street protests around the world over the past several weeks have pressured political leaders to demand a cease-fire and path toward peace in Gaza, while genocide experts and other critics of Israel's war—including some Israelis—have advocated for action by the ICC.

Some U.S. lawmakers have also called for a cease-fire, but President Joe Biden has stressed his "unwavering" support for Israel and asked Congress to authorize $14.3 billion for the war effort, on top of the $3.8 billion in military aid that Israel already gets from the United States annually.

A four-day pause in fighting is scheduled to begin at midnight to allow for the release of 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons as well as 50 hostages held by Hamas.

"A temporary pause in the violence is not enough," U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the only Palestinian American in Congress, said earlier this week. "We must move with urgency to save as many lives as possible and achieve a permanent cease-fire agreement."

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