You are reading

Thousands March Through the Streets of Sunnyside and Astoria in Support of Palestinians

Thousand marched down Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside Saturday in a display of solidarity for Palestinians (Photo: Christina Santucci)

May 23, 2021 By Christina Santucci

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Queens from Sunnyside to Astoria Saturday afternoon in support of Palestinians.

Within Our Lifetime – a Palestinian-led community organization that also held a large rally in Bay Ridge last week – organized the event, which began at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street.

Saturday’s march came just days after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire that ended more than 10 days of violence and bloodshed in the decades-long conflict. More than 230 Palestinians — including over 60 children — have been killed in Israeli airstrikes and 12 Israelis died in rocket attacks launched by Hamas, the New York Times reported.

In Queens, demonstrators initially gathered underneath the No. 7 train station at 46th Street – just steps from the Sunnyside Arch. Many wore keffiyehs – black and white checkered scarves –that symbolize Palestinian nationalism.

Following a prayer for Muslim attendees, organizers led more than a dozen of chant. “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes,” one rally leader bellowed into a loudspeaker, as attendees repeated. Other chants included ‘Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Zionism has got to go’ and ‘Resistance is justified when people are colonized.’

Supporters flocked to the event from Queens and beyond – with many like Brooklyn resident Farhana Akther saying that they chose to attend to show solidarity with Palestinians.

Many were from the world’s borough.

“We love them and support them,” said Jamaica resident Kazi Fuzie. “We want to ask the government to stop spending our tax dollars to fund Israel.” She called on federal officials to redirect funding to domestic issues like education and housing.

Attendees also included members of Neturei Karta, a group of Orthodox Jewish people who opposed the State of Israel, as well as representatives from the December 12th Movement, a Black human rights organization based in New York City.

Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and signs with a variety of messages – such as “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” “No Peace on Stolen Land,” and “Never Again Means Freedom for All – Jews for Palestine.”

Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags and signs with a variety of messages – such as “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” “No Peace on Stolen Land,” and “Never Again Means Freedom for All – Jews for Palestine.” (Photo: Queens Post)

Some carried the flags of Morocco, Bangladesh, Algeria, Turkey and Iraq, and others shared messages of support from other countries – such as one woman who held a “Bosnians for Palestine” sign and another attendee who carried a poster that read, “Afghans 4 Palestine.”

A handful of supporters addressed the crowd before the group began its march. Two related the situation in Palestine with that in Colombia, where at least 42 people have been killed in recent weeks during anti-government protests.

“So we have to be connecting with each other’s struggles – right here in the belly of the beast,” said Yhamir Chabur. “Colombia’s liberation is connected with Palestine’s liberation.”

Demonstrators also likened support for Palestine to that for Black Lives Matter and indigenous peoples.

Once the march began, a UHaul pickup truck led the way as several organizers stood atop the vehicle and waved Palestinian flags. Participants first proceeded west on Queens Boulevard then headed north on 39th Street into Astoria. Passing cars that honked in support were met with rounds of cheers.

A UHaul pickup truck led the way as several organizers stood atop the vehicle and waved Palestinian flags (Photo: Christina Santucci)

One attendee said she had expected that the Queens event would be smaller than others held in Brooklyn. “The turnout is actually impressive,” she said.

The event also drew several Sunnyside City Council candidates – including Steven Raga, Amit Bagga and Badrun Khan – who are running to replace Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Bagga posted a photo to his Instagram with Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani.

Khan recalled a prior rally for Palestine held in Jackson Heights in 2014, and said Saturday’s event drew a significantly larger crowd. ‘This has been a big accomplishment,” she said.

The Sunnyside march was one of more than 90 events across the United States planned for this weekend. Demonstrators are expected to gather again in Queens – in Astoria Park – on Sunday, May 30 at 4 p.m.

Thousand marched down Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside Saturday in a display of solidarity for Palestinians (Photo: Christina Santucci)

Rally goers met up at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard before marching to Astoria (Photo: Queens Post)

Rally goers in Sunnyside Saturday (Queens Post)

Rally goers in Sunnyside Saturday (Queens Post)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.

Queens senator holds Lunar New Year celebration at Tangram in Flushing

Hundreds of revelers joined state Senator John Liu for a Lunar New Year celebration Friday night at Tangram in Downtown Flushing. The event featured free food from 25 local restaurants, as well as musical and cultural performances and giveaways.

Liu was joined at the event by several local leaders, including Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, Councilwomen Sandra Ung and Linda Lee and many more. Many of the leaders spoke about the importance of this celebration to the Queens community as they celebrated the start of the Year of the Rabbit.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.

Flushing BID launches free online raffle to support local businesses in the community

The Flushing Business Improvement District (BID), on Friday, Jan. 20, announced the launch of Lucky7, a free online raffle to celebrate the Lunar New Year, promote local businesses, and bring shoppers from other regions to downtown Flushing. 

“This event is to celebrate the culture in Downtown Flushing. The food culture, shopping culture, but most importantly to celebrate the Lunar New Year culture in Downtown Flushing,” said Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing BID. “This is a unique opportunity for people not familiar with Downtown Flushing to truly experience the food and fun that’s only available in Flushing.”

Queens lawmaker reintroduces legislation to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday

As the Asian American community prepares to begin celebrating Lunar New Year on Sunday, Jan. 22, Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng on Friday reintroduced a package of legislation to commemorate the holiday. 

Meng’s legislative Lunar New Year package includes the Lunar New Year Day Act, which would establish Lunar New Year as the 12th federal holiday recognized across the United States. It also includes a resolution, “Recognizing the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year,” that commemorates the long history and explains the cultural importance of the holiday. 

Lunar New Year ‘special celebration’ held at Queensborough Community College in Bayside

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz joined Councilwomen Sandra Ung and Linda Lee on Wednesday, Jan. 18, for a special celebration in honor of the Lunar New Year at the Student Union Building at Queensborough Community College in Bayside.

Ung escaped the Cambodian genocide as a child, and her family emigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old. Now she represents Flushing with its enormous Asian American population. She said she is proud to see how many Lunar New Year celebrations she sees around the city compared to when she first arrived in Queens.

BP Richards, local leaders speak with small business owners in Flushing in effort to improve the neighborhood

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joined several Queens leaders Wednesday morning for a walking tour through Flushing to get input from the community on how to improve the neighborhood.

The Jan. 18 tour comes in the wake of public safety concerns in downtown Flushing. While crime was a main concern among the business owners Richards spoke with Wednesday, there were other areas they wished to see improvements in across the area, including traffic and sanitation issues.