Famous Ankles Stops a Protest (or so it seems)

I took the day off on Monday and late in the afternoon I started hearing some sounds from outside my apartment.  Okay, sounds different than the normal cacophony of cars, sirens, horns, yells, music, jackhammers, dogs, etc.  Some sounded like singing and I thought maybe it was some sort of Islamic call to prayers.  I decided to investigate.

When I got to my lobby, I asked the doorman if he knew what was going on.  He said that he had seen a lot of cops about a block away and didn’t know what it was, but it appeared big.

For me that’s like an irresistible call to take a quick jaunt.  I went out with some hope of finding something interesting.

I didn’t see a huge crowd of cops.  There were some cops directing traffic and I saw a NYPD mobile command center sort of vehicle.  I started hearing the sounds again and thought it sounded like it was Hebrew.  At that moment, I saw two Hasidem men nearby.  My thought was:  they’re back!  Last year there had been a huge protest by Lubavitchers where they had the noisiest demonstration I have ever heard.  I talked with a few of them and they were unfailingly interesting to talk to and friendly.

And they, being very orthodox Jews, were protesting the existence of Israel.  The unexpectedness of the particulars still fascinates me.

I looked harder.  I found a truck.  As in, a single vehicle with a megaphone.

Actually, a minivan. A single minivan with, I think, one person inside.

And it did seem to be the Lubavitchers again.  One minivan worth.  I don’t know if the two Hasidem I had seen were associated with the minivan.  If so, where were all the rest?  Last year:  thousands.  This year:  3?

20071203-hasidem-protest-van-01.jpg

Here’s a closeup of the roof.

20071203-hasidem-protest-van-02.jpg

The Israel Mission to the United Nations is across the street from where this picture was taken and I presume that the content of the protest was similar to last year’s.

I took four pictures (three nearly identical to the first picture above).

As soon as I took the fourth, the van took off.  They just went away and didn’t come back.

I didn’t mean to chase them away.  Honest.

-H

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