Photo: Joe Catron

Hundreds gathered in New York City on Tuesday, 30 January as part of an international day of action to mark the 17th birthday of imprisoned Palestinian teen activist Ahed Tamimi. Over 40 organizations endorsed the large protest, which took place on the Amtrak level of Penn Station, inside the station’s busy commuter hall. Listen to an audio report from WBAI from the demonstration, which interviewed participants from Samidoun, Labor for Palestine, the Neturei Karta, Adalah NY and many others.

Photo: Ellen Davidson

Organizers from a large number of groups and movements participated in the event, including Palestine solidarity groups, student organizations, political parties, Palestinian community groups and social justice movements. Political prisoner advocacy organizations like the NYC Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition joined the demonstration to demand freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners – as well as those held in U.S. jails.

Organizations involved in fighting police violence, racism and anti-Black oppression participated in the event, including Shut It Down NYC and People’s Power Assembly as well as Black4Palestine. Participating organizations reflected broad segments of the Palestine solidarity movement, including Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, the NY4Palestine Coalition, NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace NYC, Labor for Palestine and many more, as well as groups like the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and alliances like the International League of People’s Struggle. A number of organizations involved in the Filipino people’s movement, including BAYAN and Anakbayan, joined the action.

Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

“The fight to free Ahed has brought every supporter of Palestine together in a way I’ve never seen. In Palestine itself, under Zionist occupation and siege, everyone routinely sets aside their differences to stand together for the prisoners. Ahed has pushed all of us here to do at least that much. For the first time any of us can remember, every organization that supports Palestine is standing together, in one place, for a common purpose,” said Joe Catron, Samidoun’s US coordinator.

The event followed on previous large NYC protests for Ahed and her fellow Palestinian prisoners and was part of days of action that saw Ahed’s birthday celebrated in dozens of cities spanning the globe.

Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

Just as the protest drew a wide crowd from social justice movements, there were an array of repressive and police agencies surrounding the action, including transit police, the NYPD and even US Army soldiers stationed inside Penn Station. Far-right protesters affiliated with the racist, violent Jewish Defense League stood behind the large group of police, taunting the protesters and holding signs that said “Jail Ahed.”

Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

The event included celebration as well; demonstrators sang “Happy Birthday” to Ahed in both English and Arabic after chanting for Palestine with calls that echoed throughout the busy station.

Photo: Rafael Justo

Events in New York and around the world are continuing to demand freedom for Ahed and her fellow Palestinian prisoners. New Zealand Palestine solidarity organizers are holding a day of action on 3 February, with events also taking place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Antwerp, Belgium. In NYC, on Monday, 5 February, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network will protest at the offices of OUTFRONT Media, the major billboard corporation that censored advertisements demanding Ahed’s freedom.

Endorsers of the action included the following:

Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

American Muslims for Palestine – NJ Chapter

Anakbayan NJ

ANSWER Coalition

Bayan USA Northeast

Black4Palestine

CODEPINK: Women For Peace

Committee to Stop FBI Repression — NYC

Existence Is Resistance

Free Mumia Abu Jamal Coalition

Free the Tamimi Women

Gabriela NY

International Action Center

International League of Peoples’ Struggle

International Socialist Organization

The Jericho Movement

Jersey City Peace Movement

Jewish Voices for Peace – NYC

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Labor for Palestine

National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee

New York Progressive Action Network

NY4Palestine

NYC Shut It Down: The Grand Central Crew #BlackLivesMatter

NYC Anarchist Black Cross

NYC Solidarity with Palestine

NYC Students for Justice in Palestine

Pakistan USA Freedom Forum

Palestinian American Community Center, NJ USA

Palestinian Youth Movement

Peoples Power Assemblies

RAIA — Researching the American Israeli Alliance

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Socialist Action

Socialist Alternative, NYC

Staten Island Progressive Action Network

Students for Justice in Palestine, New School

Students for Justice in Palestine at College of Staten Island

United National Antiwar Coalition

Veterans For Peace, 034 NYC, 021 NJ

Workers World Party

Youth Against Settlements

Photo: Joe Catron
Photo: Joe Catron
Photo: Joe Catron
Photo: Joe Catron
Photo: Joe Catron
Photo: Rafael Justo
Photo: Rafael Justo
Photo: Ellen Davidson
Photo: Ellen Davidson
Photo: Ellen Davidson
Photo: Ellen Davidson
Photo: Ellen Davidson
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace
Photo: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace