Friday, April 14, 2017
Seder In The Streets - Jewish and Muslim community leaders all for an end to NYPD policies targeting communities of color and enable deportations
NEW YORK CITY – Jewish and Muslim community leaders and New York elected officials joined hundreds of Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers to celebrate “Seder in the streets” on April 13, 2017; targeting Mayor DeBlasio, demanding resistance to Trump, an end to broken windows policing, and stronger sanctuary city policies. The celebrations began at City Hall steps with a press conference, followed by a march to Foley Square where the celebration concluded with an act of peaceful civil disobedience demanding an end to NYPD policies that target communities of color and enable deportations. A total of 6 people were arrested as a result of the action.
Jewish and Muslim community leaders are calling on Mayor DeBlasio to go beyond rhetoric and give New Yorkers a real Sanctuary City, hundreds of Jewish New Yorkers are expected to attend a Passover “Seder in the Streets” and demand an end to “Broken Windows” policing and passage of the Right To Know Act. Organized by Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) working in partnership with Muslim and police reform organizations, the Jewish Pesach holiday tradition will be transformed into a carnival of political protest. The Seder will be preceded by a press conference on the steps of City Hall.
Many of the organizers of the Seder in the Streets are Jews with ancestry in Muslim-majority countries, many of which are included in President Trump’s Muslim Ban, in addition to Jewish People of Color who are directly targeted by discriminatory policing.
DeBlasio continues to avoid the fact that by continuing to support “broken windows” policing, which targets communities of color and thus immigrant communities, he places New Yorkers at risk of ICE enforcement, particularly under the Trump administration’s expansive targeting. An NYPD legal officer has even issued a misleading statement about turnstile jumping, as DeBlasio and the NYPD attempt to obscure the fact that their discriminatory enforcement actions contribute to ICE detentions and deportations.
The Seder ritual is a time when Jews the world over recall their history of oppression and celebrate their freedom. One of the primary tasks of Passover is for Jews to tell the story of yetziat mitzrayim — the exodus from Egypt “as though we ourselves were there.” The organizers of today’s Seder in the Streets plan to bring the story of Jewish liberation to the mayor and the city council to remind them of this truth: “None of us are free until all of us are free, and there are no sanctuary cities without ending broken windows policing.” The story of Jewish liberation in the past fuels JFREJ’s work for justice and liberation today. As it says in today’s Passover Haggadah (telling) “we stand together with our partners and allies as the mixed multitude. Our exodus from bans and walls and broken windows policing to cities of sanctuary and refuge must be made together.”
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