January 30, 2009
In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict
Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2009
Location: Broadway between 45th and 46th
Direction: Trains: L,N,Q,R,W,4,5,6 to Union Square
Activists Arrested Protesting AIPAC
Blockade Protest of AIPAC Fundraiser at Times Square Marriott Hotel
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At 6:30 PM on Thursday, January 29, ten young activists peacefully blocked the two main entrances to the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square to protest the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Fundraising Gala. The action, which lasted just under two hours, coincided with a 250-person protest rally in front of the hotel, separately organized by the Break the Siege On Gaza Coalition—Student Committee. All ten activists were arrested,
spurring the formation of a campaign for their defense and for the conscious escalation of pro-Gaza activism.
More than a month after Israel began its massive assault on Gaza and amidst international protests, AIPAC held a $1500-a-plate fundraising dinner, its largest event of the year. The event was attended by prominent business people, lobbyists and U.S. politicians, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The blockade disrupted what the participating activists considered a disgraceful gathering.
The Marriott blockade comes on the heels of several similar actions opposing Israel’s recent conduct that have occurred in cities around the world such as Toronto and San Francisco and at over a dozen universities in England. In its scope, tactics, and goals, the movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine recalls the movement that arose in opposition to Apartheid in South Africa. Campaign participant Conor Tomás Reed said, “the blockade is a contribution to this international struggle and can serve as a catalyst for
10 Arrested Blocking AIPAC Gala
01.30.2009 | Democracy NOW!
By Amy Goodman & Juan Gonzalez
And here in New York, activists opposed to the US-backed Israeli assault on Gaza disrupted a gala event last night put on by the lobby group AIPAC. The demonstrators chained themselves together to block two entrances at the Marriott Hotel. Police forced them apart by burning off the chains with blowtorches. Ten people were arrested.