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Astoria Assemblyman to Hold Rally Sunday Calling for a Free Palestine and the Defunding of NYPD

The crowd at the ‘Defend Palestine’ rally in Sunnyside last month (Queens Post)

June 11, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Rally-goers will march through the streets of Astoria Sunday to call for a free Palestine and the defunding of the NYPD.

Astoria Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani and several groups are organizing the rally to demand an end to “state-sanctioned violence domestically and abroad.” They are calling for the local divestment from the NYPD and for the federal government to stop funding the Israeli military.

The rally dubbed “From Steinway to Ferguson to Sheikh Jarrah: Defund State Violence Rally” will start at 1 p.m. at the South Hill of Astoria Park. Attendees will march toward Steinway Street.

Mamdani and Brooklyn State Sen. Jabari Brisport will be speaking at the rally along with Linda Sarsour and Zellie Imani. Sarsour is a well-known Palestinian-American activist and one of the founders of the Women’s March, while Imani is a Black Muslim “Black Lives Matter” organizer who has called for Black-Palestinian solidarity.

“We take to the streets to stand against the idea that violence against some creates security for others,” Mamdani said in a statement. “The calls to defund the NYPD and end military aid to Israel are rooted in the same belief that true safety comes from an investment in our communities.”

The two issues are related in a number of ways, he said. For instance, exchange programs between the U.S. and Israel bring together American police and Israeli soldiers to share policing methods and equipment.

“Our tax dollars are funding the brutalization and killing of our brothers, sisters, and family beyond the binary both here in New York City and abroad,” Mamdani said.

The U.S. gave $3.8 billion in aid to Israel last year, mostly for military assistance, according to the BBC while the city earmarks $6 billion a year for the NYPD — the biggest police budget in the country.

Mamdani told the Queens Post last month that the BLM movement has led to greater calls for Palestinian justice. He said more and more people are no longer afraid to speak out against the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.

“As somebody who got into organizing because of the issue of Palestinian solidarity, this moment right now feels fundamentally different from any one that I have been a part of in the past,” he said ahead of a rally “to defend Palestine” in Sunnyside last month.

Several western Queens elected officials have been critical of Israel in recent times. The criticism followed the conflict last month between the Israeli government and Hamas when more than 230 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes and 12 Israelis were killed in rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

“For a long time Queens elected officials marched in lockstep with pro-Israel propaganda and that era is over,” Mamdani said last month. “It’s not because we have a new crop of legislators that have their own ideas — it’s because we have legislators who actually reflect the values of their constituencies.”

The rally this Sunday comes about three weeks after a pro-Palestinian rally was held in Sunnyside, which was attended by thousands or protesters.

The groups Adalah Justice Project, New York For Palestine Coalition, Scientists for the People, Jewish Voices for Peace-NYC, Democratic Socialists of America-NYC are organizing Sunday’s rally together with Mamdani’s office.

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22 Comments

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Take this show and shove it

Very few people showed
People are tired of the radical dog and pony show

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Maria

Saw them pass 23 ave to get to Steinway Street while i was going to Astoria Park. Must of been a crowd of 50-80 people. Marchers screamed our street and free palestine and they moved on surrounded by a couple of cops there to protect the politicians who ars calling to defund the police. Not the size of crowd i am sure they were anticipating.

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adios Jimmy!

I think you mean “Defunding”. I hope this is the end of Van Bramer career.

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Bill

All this assemblyman is doing is using his political position to further Palestinian rights. As a New York State Assemblyman you have no say on this issue. Become a congressman or Senator if you want that ability.

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Lucky number 7 train

The Palestinians danced in the streets and cheered all over the place during 9/11.
Defund the police? What so more kids and mothers can get killed by thug punks.

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Nadia

Mamdani won the election for New York State Assembly over Simotas last year. Voters new who they were voting for and are thrilled with his dedication to the community. WE CAN NO LONGER STAY SILENT!!’

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Anonymous

Merriam-Webster defines disgrace as a loss of grace, favor, or honor, a source of shame. Shame is what we feel when we see an Assemblyman Mamdani running around Astoria and advocating for foreign terrorist organizations instead of focusing on his constituents.

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Elizabeth

Is New York State sending military aid to Israel? No they are not! Then why is this guy bringing up Israel?

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ABoondy

not only defund but de-gun the NYPD like the next progressive mayor wants. the city will be much safer with guns in the hands of gangs and thugs. in fact, the whole city should ban all laws.

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Bizarro World

20 years ago this September, we thanked and honored the NYPD and condemned terrorists.

Fast-forward to 2021 and people are in the streets condemning the police and honoring terrorists.

Democrats, you own this garbage.

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idiots running the liberal show

oh these liberals, I just want to say thank you for all the ammo in trumps reelection campaign! biden is ancient, harris cant stop giggling about the border crisis…. midterms will be all red in 2022.
Thank you progressive wackos!

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Mick

I am liberal but this is too much. Kind of like the Trump supporters. Is there anyone in the middle anymore? Where is common sense?

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Pat

True. They are making it easy for the republicans. And now they are going to lose the Jewish vote!

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Jim

Another example of the twisted one sided coverage from the rancid Sunnyside Post. This so called Assemblyman from Palestine I mean Astoria is using his position for issues that have nothing to do with him. Funding for Israel is not part of your job. You would somehow find a way to link feral cats to Israel. Remove this idiot from office now. Astoria can do better!

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Anon

Don’t shoot the messenger Jim. SSP just reported what this elected idiot really said. They did not endorse it.

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Who voted for him?

Do you think simotas who was the assemblywoman before this awful guy would have been so hateful and irresponsible? This is calling for the genocide of the Jews and increase in crime in the USA
Who voted for him ?

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#votehimout

Zoran Mamdani is a hater – he should not be representing Astoria. He can deny until the cows come home but he has a real problem with Jews.

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