NEW YORK — Skirmishes broke out between supporters and opponents of US President Donald Trump as a Jews For Trump convoy of hundreds of cars draped with American flags and Trump 2020 banners rolled slowly through Manhattan and Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon.
The demonstration was planned as part pre-election rally for the Republican president and part protest against coronavirus restrictions in some heavily Jewish areas of New York where spiking infection rates have been recorded.
The caravan traveled from Coney Island to the Trump Tower in Manhattan before heading to a rally in a Brooklyn park. Cars in the procession blasted remix versions of the president’s speeches, festive Jewish music and soundtracked campaign slogans.
Videos shared on Twitter showed several protesters pelting the vehicles with eggs or stones, snatching flags and shouting insults.
In one video showing physical fights between several people, police officers detain an unidentified man and protesters chant “let him go.” Another video showed a small group of people throwing objects from a Brooklyn highway overpass at vehicles bedecked with Trump flags.
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani briefly greeted supporters from the passenger seat of a car driving near Trump Tower during the parade, videos showed.
Amazing turnout today in Brooklyn NY! Hundreds of vehicles and thousands of people from the Jewish community came out to rally in support of our greatest President, @realDonaldTrump.
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) October 26, 2020
As the convoy passed through Times Square, a group of activists tried to block the cars from proceeding, shouting profanities at the pro-Trump participants. Several drivers exited their vehicles and skirmishes ensued.
New York City police said seven people were taken into custody in connection with physical confrontations in Times Square, but did not specify whether the suspects were the drivers or the protesters. Charges were pending Sunday night.
NY: Photos, Hundreds of orthodox Jews are taking part in today’s pro Trump rally in Brooklyn, event is peaceful and colorful pic.twitter.com/fUOn5Wo2NR
— Yiddish News (@YiddishNews) October 25, 2020
In videos shot near midtown Manhattan, onlookers could be seen throwing eggs and other objects at the convoy. In another incident reported by Fox News, an anti-Trump activist pepper-sprayed a family of seven while they were in their car participating in the convoy.
According to the Jews For Trump website, Sunday’s rally was intended to show solidarity with “the beleaguered Red Zone community,” a reference to the coronavirus hot spots designated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as areas where schools and nonessential businesses must close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The rally follows weeks of tensions in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods over the coronavirus restrictions. Heshy Tischler, a City Council candidate and leader of Brooklyn protests against the restrictions, promoted Sunday’s car parade on Twitter.
Boris Epshteyn, an adviser to the Trump campaign and co-chair of Jewish Voices for Trump, organized the rally in Brooklyn’s Marine Park at the end of the car parade.