A group of mourners gathered at New York City’s Metropolitan Club on Tuesday to recite the mourner’s Kaddish, a Hebrew prayer which is traditionally recited in remembrance of the dead. The mourners said they were reciting the prayer to honor the eleven people killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
You can watch the Kaddish being said here:
The protesters said they were gathering at the Metropolitan Club, on New York City’s tony Upper East Side, because the spot represented “the doorstep of the GOP” — and because the Metropolitan Club recently hosted the Proud Boys, a self-described “Western chauvinist” organization. Protesters said they lay the blame for Saturday’s shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue on white supremacy. They carried signs asking the Republican party to denounce white supremacy.
The Pittsburgh shooter, Robert Bowers, was not officially affiliated with any political party; he said publicly that he did not vote for Donald Trump. He was, however, an avowed anti-Semite. You can read more about Bowers’ politics here.
Today’s protesters sat at the club’s entrance and blocked the way to all would-be entrants. They announced that they were “sitting shiva,” or performing a ritual act of mourning for the dead. It wasn’t long before the NYPD arrived and asked the protesters to disperse. When they refused, the police began making arrests. As the police led protesters away in handcuffs, the group began singing “Hine Ma Tov,” a Hebrew song whose words mean, “How good and pleasant it is / For brothers and sisters to sit together.”
You can watch the arrests here:
The remaining protesters moved away from the entrance to the Metropolitan Club but continued to chant, “We are here! We are here!” as the street filled up with police officers and NYPD vehicles. You can watch that here: