Councilman Ridley Refuses to Condemn Hamas After Anti-Israel Rally in His District

Council member Paul Ridley | Image by City of Dallas

Dallas Council Member Paul Ridley has not commented on a pro-Palestine rally held in his district Sunday. 

More than a thousand people gathered at Turtle Creek Park on November 5 to show solidarity with the Palestinian people amid the escalated conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

Ridley, who represents the area of the protest, did not respond to several requests for comment. The Dallas Express contacted Ridley and his three staff members to ask if he worked with city officials to monitor the rally. DX also asked if the councilman supports the message of attendees and whether he condemns Hamas.

No reply was received after repeated attempts.

Sunday’s rally briefly closed Lemmon Avenue and Oak Lawn Avenue, with police closing the area to oncoming traffic, per reporting by WFAA.

However, a spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department assured DX of the opposite.

“As with all large scale events, the Department had a visible presence and monitored the event,” spokeswoman Kristin Lowman told The Dallas Express. “There were no barricades or barriers set up.”

Dallas has hosted a series of pro-Palestine and even anti-Israel rallies in recent weeks characterized by chants such as, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a slogan that calls for the elimination of the Jewish State. 

The Dallas Express reported that three of the organizers for some of the initial rallies — the Palestinian Youth Movement, the Dallas Anti-War Committee, and the Muslim American Society — posted statements in support of Hamas’ terrorist attacks on innocent Israelis that killed an estimated 1,400.

“Last night, the resistance in Gaza led a heroic attack against the occupation and has taken over 30 hostages, including Brigadier General Nimrom Aloni,” the Palestinian Youth Movement posted on Facebook. “Their march toward liberation is as monumental as their rockets — the resistance will free the prisoners who have been facing a fascist attack by the occupation and liberate our land from the fangs of the enemy.”

DPD’s Lowman reiterated to DX that the City and the department support Dallasites’ right to peaceful assembly.

“In the event of protests or vigils, our goal will continue to be to protect an individual’s constitutional right to protest,” she noted.

“As a department, we will ensure anyone who chooses to peacefully protest can do so safely and securely in our city,” Lowman continued. “While we respect everyone’s right to protest, no matter their position, we will NOT condone lawlessness in our city. We will take the appropriate action if anyone’s actions threaten lives or harm people or property.”

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