Alex Wroblewski/The New York Times
From The New York Times:
by Colin Moynihan
About 20 rabbis affiliated with a liberal Jewish group were arrested on Monday night after blocking the street near the Trump International Hotel and Tower at Columbus Circle in Manhattan to protest an executive order that banned travel to the United States from seven majority-Muslim nations.
Although the hotel has been a site of numerous protests since President Trump’s election, few, if any, have involved the arrest of a group of clerics.
A crowd of about 200 people assembled at 88th Street and Broadway about 7 p.m. and then marched toward the hotel, brandishing signs with messages like “welcome refugees” while hitting drums and tambourines.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah, a rabbinical group that organized the protest, said it was meant to show that many Jews opposed the ban.
“We remember our history, and we remember that the borders of this country closed to us in 1924 with very catastrophic consequences during the Holocaust,” Rabbi Jacobs said. “We know that some of the language that’s being used now to stop Muslims from coming in is the same language that was used to stop Jewish refugees from coming.”
When the protesters reached the hotel, about 8 p.m., several members of the group announced that they would take symbolic actions to be arrested. A few moments later, a group of men and women walked onto Central Park West and sat down across the avenue, blocking cars and trucks. A police announcement sounded through a loudspeaker: “If you remain in the roadway and refuse to utilize the sidewalk, you will be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.”
Soon afterward, police officers approached and led the seated protesters away. As they departed in handcuffs, the rest of the marchers clapped and shouted in approval.
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