Hundreds of protesters gathered on Feb. 10 inside the Museum of Modern Art and outside of the Brooklyn Museum in response to the continuing Israel-Hamas conflict. 

The protest at the Brooklyn Museum took place outside and was run by Within Our Lifetime, a New-York based community-led organization that has been active since 2015, building the movement for Palestine. About 300 people were estimated to be in attendance. 

Stephanie Keith, a New York City based photographer, was present at the Brooklyn Museum protest and posted many photos to her Instagram. She stated that the arrests started “when a small red truck with a loud speaker on top showed up.” The police had explained that amplification devices were not allowed and ended up impounding the truck. According to Kieth, around 10 arrests on the sidewalk followed, One of the people arrested was journalist Reed Dunlea, who was wearing a press pass.

At 3:30 p.m., between 500 and 800 protesters entered the Museum of Modern Art. They made their way to the first and second floor atriums, filling the museum. The MoMA closed all of its galleries within 15 minutes and began to turn away paying customers. 

As seen on Instagram, protestors hung up large banners with messages such as “Cultural Workers Stand with Gaza,” “Free Palestine,” “From the River to the Sea” and “Ceasefire Now.” One on the second floor stated “MoMA Trustees Fund Genocide, Apartheid, and Settler Colonialism.” The protestors also set up similar displays on the third and fifth floors of the museum. 

Additionally, protestors made and handed out approximately 1,000 copies of a mock museum guide that called out the board of trustees of the museum. The brochure stated “While MoMA purports ideologies of ‘change’ and ‘creativity,’ the Board of Trustees directly fund Zionist occupation via arms manufacturing, lobbying, and corporate investment. At the same time, the museum derives its legitimacy from artists and cultural workers, including those actively engaged in anti-colonial struggle.”

According to the official press release, this protest demanded that the museum take action against genocide, apartheid and settler colonialism. They called for the “immediate removal of board members Ronald S. Lauder, Paula Crown, Marie-Josée Kravis, Leon Black, and Larry Fink.”

According to Artnet, these board members were called out due to “their alleged financial investments in Israeli weapons and surveillance technology.” These trustees include a millionaire with ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the Chief Executive Officer of multinational investment corporation BlackRock, and more. 

The protesters remained inside the museum until approximately 5:15 p.m., when they exited and marched uptown. This caused the MoMA to remain shut until closing time, preventing any new patrons from entering.