Pro-Palestine protesters arrested at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology as Israel moves into Rafah

New York Police Department, in full riot gear, arrested several pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology on Tuesday night.

Protesters lay a banner on the sidewalk outside the Fashion Institute of Technology, Friday, April 26, 2024, in New York. As the death toll mounts in the war in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis worsens, protesters at universities across the country are demanding schools cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies they say are enabling the conflict. (AP Photo/Karen Matthews)(AP)

According to CBS News, hundreds of protesters reportedly gathered in Union Square, demanding a ceasefire as Israel entered Rafah city in southern Gaza.

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Raising alarms about northern Gaza already facing the worst case of a “full-blown famine,” UN officials slammed Israeli forces’ seizure of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza (per Aljazeera).

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday: “The closure of both the Rafah and Kerem Shalom [Karem Abu Salem] crossings is especially damaging to an already dire humanitarian situation. They must be reopened immediately.”

What happened at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology?

Despite the initial peaceful march, police closely followed the demonstration, ultimately arresting numerous people. The exact number of arrests wasn’t revealed at the time of writing.

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After coming together in Union Square, the anti-Israel procession headed to the institute in Chelsea and reassembled around pro-Palestinian encampments.

CBS correspondent Dan Rice reported that the authorities eventually took apart the encampment.

Protest organizer Layan Fuleihan spoke about the surge of New York pro-Palestinian protests: “It’s all part of putting political pressure on the system.” They further explained, “The past months have shown that actually when we get organized and we get together, we have a lot more power than we think.”

Meanwhile, the FIT arrests made headlines on the same day as NYC Mayor Eric Adams addressed the desecration of a World War I statue on the Upper East Side. He also announced that he’d be putting up $5,000 of his own money for information on those who targeted the memorial.

CBS News further reported the statue at the corner of 67th Street and Fifth Avenue was marred with spray paint as vandals wrote words like “Gaza,” Free Palestine”, and “Let Gaza live.” According to US media reports, police suspect this move to have been an attempt at disrupting the Met Gala.

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