Monday, July 24, 2006

What a "Peaceful" Anti-Israel Rally Looks Like paints a pretty picture of a Pro Palestine and Lebanon rally that took place Friday afternoon.
Participants carried signs such as ``Free All Palestinian and Lebanese Political Prisoners," ``End the Israeli Occupation," and ``Stop Aid and Weapons." At times during the nearly three-hour rally, which included a prayer service and was sponsored by the Muslim American Society, they chanted ``Free, Free Palestine," and then ``Free, Free Lebanon." A police officer at the scene estimated the crowd at 2 p.m. to be 500.

Around 1:30 p.m., hundreds gathered in tidy eastward-facing rows of about 50 people each, to pray to God. Most kneeled on prayer rugs. Others improvised with newspapers. Some took off their shoes. Usually, at that time of the week, they would have gathered in a mosque. Assam Omeish, president of the Muslim American Society, led the prayer.

However, freelance reporter Seva Brodsky was there with his camera, and caught what the press didn't see. Solomonia has what Brodsky discovered.

... However, he is not the type to give up too easily -- being resourceful, he raised a large white banner he had with him on a foam board, thereby creating a new, more formidable obstacle for my probing lens. This precipitated a cat-and-mouse game, which I did not mind engaging in. He was really annoyed by that and started calling for back up. A little crowd started gathering around me, threatening and verbally abusing me.

Some rather short and skinny woman, screaming hysterically at me, grabbed my camera and left arm:

In the ensuing commotion, I suddenly noticed that Noah Cohen grabbed my camera and was quietly trying to break off its swivel monitor. This really stunned me -- I didn't expect he would go to such length and engage in criminally punishable behavior, but I guess, he figured he could afford to do so and get away with it, being surrounded by his comrades-in-arms with no police in sight. At this point, indignant and even outraged, realizing that I was entirely on my own and no help was forthcoming, I yanked the camera from his grip and a scuffle ensued which seemed to cool off his zeal substantially.

More people joined the melee, shouting and threatening me. Unfortunately, by this point my camera was off, so I did not capture what had transpired then. One man told me that the police would not help me, as they were going to hunt me down and kill me (he can be heard on the video repeatedly commanding me not to take pictures):

But Islam is The Religion of Peace...isn't it?