brooklyn bridge 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – Politicians, Occupy Wall Street-ers and residents of the Brooklyn
neighborhood of Midwood marched on Sunday afternoon in a hundred-person
demonstration against last week’s anti-Semitic arson and vandalism.
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demonstrating, including New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, said the march was
meant to defy Friday’s anti-Semitic acts on Ocean Parkway, where three cars were
torched with gasoline and benches and walls were defaced with anti-Semitic
'Occupy Wall Street' occupied by anti-Semitism charge
The Ocean Parkway march drew elected officials including Hikind
and State Senator Eric Adams as well as city council members from
Hikind, who lives two blocks from where the cars were
vandalized, told The New York Times that the arson, intertwined with
anti-Semitism, was unprecedented in New York.
“With the swastikas, with
the KKK [Ku Klux Klan], all together it paints a very ugly picture,” Hikind
said. “If it was only the swastikas, we would be upset. But when you add the
violence, it adds another dimension. I don’t remember anything like it in the 29
years I’m in public office.”
More than two dozen participants in Occupy
Wall Street joined the demonstration against the attacks.
In a statement
approved by Occupy Wall Street’s General Assembly, members of the movement said
that attempts to link OWS to the “heinous acts” compelled OWS to speak out
“When an act of violence and bigotry occurs in our
community, we, as a group, need to take a leadership role and stand with other
community leaders and fellow New Yorkers to speak out in opposition to these
acts,” the statement read. “History teaches us that silence can be interpreted
as approving or condoning the bigotry.
“The media has attempted to
implicate OWS in these criminal acts while offering zero evidence to support
their claims. This ignores the fact that OWS’s values and daily activities
demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, and equality,” the statement
“We represent a wide array of political beliefs, races, religions
and sexual orientations.
OWS strives to mirror the diversity of our city.
We are growing, and highly inclusive, and these aspects make it possible for
some to mischaracterize, defame, and vilify this movement.
together and show the world that acts like this will not be tolerated in our
community,” the statement concluded.
Protesters noted that the attack
occurred one day after the 73rd anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms, which
struck at the heart of German Jewry.
“I am the child of a Holocaust
survivor, and this makes me uncomfortable,” Judy Pfeffer, 62, a retired city
education department employee, told NBCNewyork.com. “Even then, it was just
vandalism. But it led to the Holocaust.”Jerusalem Post staff
contributed to this report.