Pro-Palestinian protests disrupt Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, Bowman rally

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Sen. Bernie Sanders’ political affiliation. Sanders is an independent senator.

Pro-Palestine protestors disrupted a joint rally between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Saturday.

The protest was organized by Within Our Lives, a self-described Palestinian-led, New York pro-Palestine organization.

“Endorsing Biden is endorsing the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” Within Our Lifetime wrote in a thread on X promoting the demonstration at the rally.

The group has drawn ire from those on the left and right in recent weeks for their protests against the Brooklyn Museum, which ultimately led to arrests on June 1 when the museum’s works were reportedly damaged. The group also has been linked to the targeting of top leaders at the museum’s homes, including a banner at its Jewish director’s home that called her a “white-supremacist Zionist.”

“This is not peaceful protest or free speech. This is a crime, and it’s overt, unacceptable antisemitism,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams wrote on X at the time.

During Saturday’s rally, which drew a crowd of 1200 voters according to AOC’s campaign, pro-Palestinian protesters led chants including “Intifada, Intifada” and “Genocide Joe has got to go.”

As the rally wrapped, the protesters headed to the politicians’ campaign buses, proceeding to write on them with markers and placing stickers on the buses’ paneling, according to a video posted to X.

The Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and Bowman campaigns were not immediately available for comment.

“I’m not supposed to fight back? We’re gonna show them who the f–k we are!” Bowman told the crowd as pro-Palestine protesters attempted to disrupt the rally with chants in a video uploaded to X. He proceeded to lead the crowd in a “cease-fire now” chant.

Bowman faces a tough re-election bid in New York’s 16th congressional district. He is set to face-off against AIPAC-backed Democrat George Latimer later this week on June 26. The division between the two candidate’s view on U.S. support for Israel in its war against Gaza has been a highlight of the election.

The results of Bowman’s election have been closely monitored as a litmus test for the future of Democratic Party, with the war in Gaza billed as the newest progressive-moderate identity crisis facing the coalition.

All three politicians at the rally have maintained their support for a second-term Biden presidency, while some in the far-left coalition of the Democratic party, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) have not committed themselves to a candidate.

During a Biden campaign rally in Las Vegas, Ocasio-Cortez indicated that voters should turn to issues on the left that Biden will champion, chiefly abortion post the Dobbs decision.

“Four more years of President Biden versus Donald Trump is quite literally the difference between life and death,” she said.

This story was updated on June 23 at 10:36 a.m.

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