MoMA Shuts As 500+ Protesters Infiltrate Atrium Supporting Palestine
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MoMA Shuts As 500+ Protesters Infiltrate Atrium Supporting Palestine

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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Manhattan unexpectedly closed its galleries to the public at around 3:45pm Saturday, February 10, after over 500 pro-Palestinian protesters took over the building’s second-floor atrium for a massive demonstration. 

Co-organized with several advocacy groups, activists and activists Staged a previous action on December 27 at John F. Kennedy AirportThe demonstration used a variety tactics. Starting at 3:30pm, organizers split up to distribute over 1,000 custom-printed imitation MoMA pamphlets calling out five museum trustees — Leon Black, Larry Fink, Paula Crown, Marie-Josée Kravis, and Ronald S. Lauder — and their alleged financial and corporate investments into Israeli military weapons……………??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? “conservative values.”Soon after, hundreds of demonstrators started a sit-in atrium.

A group of demonstrators unveiled a banner from the second floor overlooking the museum’s lobby and rear exit that read “MoMA Trustees Fund Genocide, Apartheid, and Settler Colonialism”Viewable by people on the first-floor.

The organizers called out MoMA trustees’ alleged financial ties to financial and corporate investments in Israeli military efforts.
A pamphlet distributed by activists.

From the third and fifth floors, additional banners — calling for an immediate ceasefire, a free Palestine, and for all prisons to be emptied — were launched from the viewing ledges, suspended alongside artist Carolina Caycedo’s current display of fishing net sculptures.

“Free, free Palestine,”After the signs had been unveiled, protesters began chanting. They were followed by a group of people reading a passage in the mock pamphlet that had been addressed to visitors. The passage explained the premise of protest and the decision made to criticize the particular museum.

In less than 15 seconds, MoMA security had closed the galleries and began turning away visitors who wanted to enter. Visitors were then allowed to leave. At approximately 4:45pm the building was opened to the press.

The MoMA protest ended around 5:10pm. The remaining demonstrators then filed out and began to march uptown. As the six squad vehicles left the site, dozens of people waiting to enter the MoMA were lining up outside. Three security staff confirmed with HyperallergyThe museum was closed the rest of the night while organizers distributed remaining pamphlets to those waiting outside. 

Many people were confused by the fact that the museum remained closed for an hour and a quarter after the protest dispersed. A man began to scream repeatedly outside “fuck the Palestinians”As the line outside began thinning, another man congratulated organizers who were handing out flyers. “getting the job done.”

The museum closed to the public its galleries at 3:45pm.
Protesters wave signs to show their solidarity with Palestine before the Brooklyn Museum. (photo Maya Pontone/Hyperallergy)

Today’s action at MoMA coincided with another demonstration that drew over 300 people outside the Brooklyn Museum, organized by Within Our Lifetime Palestine (WOL Palestine). According to the confirmation by HyperallergicOn the scene

Both actions took place at the same time as an open letterSigned by more than 100 NYC cultural workers, including from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, protesting the “the disgraceful silence of our institutions as Israel commits genocide in Gaza.”

“While the museums and cultural institutions of our city claim to hold commitments to justice, social action, and equity, their silence has rendered them complicit in the killing of over 27,000 people in Palestine, with thousands more trapped under rubble from bombings since October 7, 2023,”The letter reads:

MoMA has not yet replied to Hyperallergic‘s request for comment.

At MoMA, banners were launched from the viewing ledges, suspended alongside artist Carolina Caycedo’s current display of fishing net sculptures.

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