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For Immediate Release: November 29, 2023
Contact: Jonathan Brenneman, notonourdime@gmail.com; Jack Gross, press@socialists.nyc

BREAKING: STATEWIDE PROTESTS DEMAND SCHUMER CALL FOR CEASEFIRE

New York, NY–This afternoon, in honor of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, activists, interfaith and religious leaders, elected officials, workers, students, and community members staged demonstrations at all eight of Senator Chuck Schumer’s offices in New York State. They called for a ceasefire and end of military aid to Israel, representing 20,000 New Yorkers who have signed a petition and written letters with those demands. 

In multiple cities throughout the afternoon, protestors gathered with banners displaying calls for a ceasefire and read the petition aloud before delivery. Actions were held in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Melville, Peekskill, Rochester, Syracuse, and New York City. 

In Albany, a delegation met with the local staff person and presented the petition. In Syracuse the protesters stood outside the office, reading the names of infants who have been killed. As an interfaith group gathered in Rochester, longtime resident Jonathan Khoury said, “As New Yorkers who are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Palestinian, and Arab, we know that more weapons and more killing won’t make any of us safe.” A funeral procession leading to Sen. Schumer’s office was staged in Binghamton. In New York City, elected officials made statements in front of Sen. Schumer’s office in midtown. 

“Senator Schumer first ran for office as an opponent of the Vietnam War. We urge him to remember the lessons of that era and use his significant power to bring about a permanent ceasefire. The collective punishment of Gaza is a violation of international law and basic decency. It’s time for it to end,” said New York Assemblymember Emily Gallagher in front of Sen Schumer’s office.  

“New Yorkers from Long Island to NYC to Syracuse showed up at Schumer’s offices today because we refuse to accept our government’s continued complicity in the mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians; we must stand up for an immediate permanent ceasefire,” said State Senator Jabari Brisport.

“Although for now it puts me in the minority in the Council and in the Democratic Party, I’m proud to stand here with other elected officials, working New Yorkers, and the massive multiracial coalition that has been in the streets for weeks in NYC and all around the world calling for an end to these war crimes and a lasting ceasefire—so all families can be safe. I invite Senator Schumer to join us and the 80% of Democrats who agree.” said New York City Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez.

“While this past week’s pause in hostilities and hostage exchange is welcome news after weeks of carnage, I will continue to call on our federal leaders to put an end to our government’s funding of human rights violations. In recent days, I’ve been heartened to see more and more elected officials from the New York City Council to the United States Senate join our calls for an end to the violence. Despite the hostility we’ve faced from hawkish members of our own party, this movement for peace is growing. Senator Schumer, we invite you to join us,” said City Council Member Alexa Avilés.

“The US government has provided Israel with the bulk of the material support for the massive Israeli state violence that has destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the Gaza Strip, made half the population homeless with winter approaching, and which has maimed tens of thousands of stateless refugees and killed thousands more. Over half of Gaza’s population is under the age of 18 and will now carry this unnecessary, man-made trauma for the rest of their lives. The people of New York demand an immediate end to the killing, a permanent ceasefire and the resumption of full-scale negotiations that lead to a permanent, peaceful and just resolution to this conflict that respects International Law and the full rights, dignity, equality and freedom of all the people of Israel and Palestine,” said Nada Khader of the WESPAC Foundation in Peekskill.

This shift and pressure from actions like today seems to be having an effect, according to Syracuse organizer Jonathan Brenneman, “Just today, Sen. Schumer’s statement on antisemitism, included remarks that were more openly critical of the Israeli government, and more understanding of those protesting for Palestinian rights, than any I have ever seen from him. Voices of conscience on this issue can no longer be ignored.” 

A broad coalition of local organizations has coordinated this statewide day of action. Organizers range from chapters of national groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and Democratic Socialists of America and IfNotNow, to local peace groups such as Western New York for Peace and Westchester Peace Action Committee, to local coalitions such as Ceasefire Now Central New York and Rochester Committee to End Apartheid. This geographically dispersed action shows a deep level of coordination by a broad base of organizations. It reflects the growing sentiment across the state that New Yorkers want a ceasefire. 

ACTION AND VISUALS: Photos and videos of demonstrators with banners, reading the petition letter, and delivering petition signatures available.

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ABOUT NYC-DSA: New York City Democratic Socialists is the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America—the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 85,000 members. NYC-DSA is run by its 6,000+ members and activists who are working together to build a democratic socialist organization in the five boroughs.