Protesters gathered at the Statue of Liberty on Monday, calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Banners were unfurled from the statue’s pedestal. The protest was organized by the activist group Jewish Voice for Peace. Similar protests and vigils have been taking place across the country since the start of the war, with pro-Palestinian demonstrations happening in various cities. In New York, a coalition of Jewish groups held a vigil near Central Park to show solidarity with Israel.
The protest started inconspicuously with protesters blending in with tourists on Liberty Island. They put on black T-shirts with the words “Jews Say Cease Fire Now” and began climbing the pedestal stairs after an outburst of song. Banners were dropped from the stairs with slogans such as “Palestinians should be free” and “The world is watching.” The location was chosen due to its historical significance as a place for calls for justice. Last week, Jewish Voice for Peace organized a protest at Grand Central Terminal, and this protest aimed to maintain the pressure.
The protesters eventually marched to the ferry landing, where they boarded a ferry back to Manhattan without any arrests. At the pro-Israel vigil near Central Park, thousands waved Israeli flags and chanted for the safe return of Israeli hostages in Gaza. Several speakers addressed the crowd, including Senator Chuck Schumer and actress Debra Messing. A participant named Daniel Zabari expressed his belief in amplifying voices for lasting peace.
Liset Cruz contributed reporting.