A Palestinian flag was hung in protest over the Manhattan Bridge in New York City on Wednesday night. There have been no arrests, according to Eyewitness News. The vandalism took place during a solidarity march for a pro-Palestinian campaign that ended in Manhattan. Daily News also reports that the red, green, white and black flag on the bridge had “Boycott,” “Divest” and “Sanction” written on it.
The written words added to the “Gaza in our hearts” statement at the top of Palestinian flag. Police officers took the flag down after a few minutes, although one of the organizers for the New York Solidarity with Palestine march commented that “It was a beautiful thing to see” the Palestinian flag on the Manhattan Bridge. Nastaran Mohit, 31, also noted that when it came to who put the Palestinian flag on the bridge, he had “…no idea. They obviously knew we were marching,” referring to the 500 or so protesters who walked into Manhattan.
Eyewitness News also reports that the march led to a rally at 1 Police Plaza. The New York Solidarity with Palestine organization protested Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The organized protest did not amuse New York City Councilman, David Greenfield, who took to Twitter in his reaction that the flag’s unfurling on the Manhattan Bridge “leads to the question of whether @NYPDnews (NYPD) is still capable of protecting NYC.” Daily News adds that this incident is the second security breach on the city’s bridges this summer, following a July incident on the Brooklyn Bridge in which the American flags were replaced with white flags.
CBS New York revealed that the Palestinian flag was unfurled after 7 p.m. on the Manhattan Bridge. The New York Police Department’s Emergency service Unit was able to remove it by 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday. The activist group’s news releases revealed that the protest was to “connect the struggle of the Palestinian population to those of oppressed communities throughout the U.S.,” and as a show of “resistance to Israeli’s campaign of aggression, occupation, and ethnic cleansing.” Although an unwanted act, the flag is not being deemed a breach of security by the police. This differs from the July security breach on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Inquisitr reported in July that the white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge were considered a “vandalism” that left the police “baffled.” NY Times revealed that two German artists, Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, had pursued the hoax as part of their artistic celebration of “the beauty of public space.” Unfortunately, the stint worried many as a possible act of terrorism, even though the pair had simply sought to honor John Roebling, the German-born engineer who designed the landmark bridge. Inquisitr added that the artists were very apologetic for having embarrassed “the New York Police Department or pull something akin to an act of terrorism.”
Wednesday’s incident on the Manhattan Bridge with the Palestinian flag may not have the same artistic intentions. It did not, however, encourage any terrorist or violent actions either. It appears that the NYPD handled the situation quickly.