Brooklyn peace marchers call for Mideast cease-fire

NEW YORK — On Aug. 9, dozens of Brooklynites gathered at the corner of 3rd Ave. and Flatbush Ave., in a quickly mobilized demonstration called by Brooklyn Parents for Peace (BPFP), to voice concern and outrage over the widening conflict in the Middle East. Calling for an immediate cease-fire, an end to the killing of civilians whether targeted or as ‘collateral damage,’ the halting of weapons provided to all sides in the conflict, a negotiated prisoner exchange and the initiation of an international peace conference, the marchers set off to march chanting, ‘Cease-fire now.’ A few sympathetic onlookers spontaneously joined the line of march as they proceeded through Fulton Mall on the way to their rally point on the steps of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall.

Upon arriving at Borough Hall, the marchers were greeted by Molly Nolan of BPFP, who introduced Rabbi Michael Feinberg of Clergy and Laity Concerned About Iraq. He opened the gathering by delivering an inspiring ecumenical prayer for peace. David Tykulsker, an attorney and vice-chair of BPFP, asked the crowd for moment of silence for those killed in this conflagration, before delving into a speech that directly linked the current Lebanon crisis with the failed policies of the Bush administration in the ongoing Iraq war.

Following up on this theme was Carolyn Eisenberg, a co-founder and vice-chair of BPFP, who decried both the horrific destruction of Lebanon and Hezbollah’s missile attacks on Israeli cities, and connected these events with the ongoing occupation in Palestine, and U.S. policies that she described as ‘one-sided and obstructionist.’ She concluded by thanking the two Brooklyn congressional representatives, Major Owens and Nydia Velasquez, who have called for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire in support of the Kucinich bill in the House (HR 450). She questioned the silence of the remaining Brooklyn congressional delegation as well as the pro-war stances of Senators Schumer and Clinton. Eisenberg then exhorted the gathered crowd to take action, be it by ‘marching, writing and organizing to bring these policies to a halt.’

— Brooklyn Parents for Peace