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No Hate, No Fear: A Rally In New York City

Ellen Levitt

Posted on January 6, 2020 21:13

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I participated in the No Hate, No Fear unity rally to speak out against anti-Semitic acts that have taken place in New York City and State, and elsewhere.

I was one of several thousand participants in a rally that aimed to stand up to recent anti-Semitic acts that have occurred in New York City and State, as well as elsewhere. The Solidarity March, promoting the hashtag #NoHateNoFear, was organized by a diverse group of Jewish communal groups. Starting at 11 AM and lasting into the afternoon, the rally and march began in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, traversed the Brooklyn Bridge, and landed in Cadman Plaza Park in northern Brooklyn. 

The event drew a wide variety of Jewish people, as well as non-Jewish allies. There were Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, Reform and Conservative Jews, young and old, men and women, those who identify as LGBTQ, and more. People held mass-printed posters as well as handmade signs with messages such as "If You Love Bagels, You Can't Hate Jews," "America 2020 Not Germany 1933," "Jews 4 Unity And Peace," "My parents didn't survive the Holocaust to have to deal with this s&*t" and many more. People held banners and signs representing many synagogues and community groups such as youth groups, martial arts clubs, and other Jewish non-profit organizations.

More than a dozen members of my extended family and friends attended the march and rally but I came by myself, via subway train and just joined the mass group. The air was nippy but for the most part, it was sunny, not windy, and thus the weather was conducive for an early January mass outdoor event.

The mood was not all angry, fearful or frustrated. Pride and spirit also came into play, with people chanting "No Hate No Fear" and other slogans. People sang songs in English and Hebrew. People began dancing the traditional Hora dance on the Bridge. I stood not far from a drum corps playing its compelling rhythms. 

Politicians and celebrities marched at the forefront, but to a great extent, it was a march for the average person. Family units and friends, people on their own, small and sizable groups: all contributed to the spirit and the numbers.

At Cadman Plaza (not far from Brooklyn Borough Hall) a few Jewish musical groups performed, and speakers discussed the goals and concerns of the march: for Jewish people to be able to go about their day-to-day lives and religious rituals without fear of being attacked physically; to combat the symbols of anti-Semitism such as etched swastikas and hate speech. To be safe.

The history of anti-Semitism is old and ugly; can a rally such as this have an impact? This could be debated, but it certainly was a show of pride and power, of solidarity and camaraderie. It will also have a ripple effect, in that many participants posted photographs and slogans to their social media platforms, and there was a great deal of media coverage from major news outlets as well as smaller, niche outlets.

I felt an obligation to participate and was glad to do my part.

Ellen Levitt

Posted on January 6, 2020 21:13

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Source: NYT

The recent violence has shaken the Jewish community in the New York City region.

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