Pro-Palestinian protesters clash with police, vandalize NYC monuments during Met gala

NEW DELHI: On Monday, over 1,000 protesters advocating for Palestinian rights clashed with police and vandalized public monuments while attempting to reach the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where the Met Gala was being held. The event coincided with a globally observed “Day of Rage” organized by the activist group Within Our Lifetime.
As per a New York Post report, the demonstrators, blocked by police from nearing the Met, redirected their protest to Central Park where they defaced the One Hundred Seventh Infantry Memorial.The base of this World War I memorial was spray-painted with the word “Gaza” in large black letters. Protesters also burned an American flag at the site and placed stickers and Palestinian flags on the statues, with messages that read “Stop the Genocide. End the apartheid. Free Palestine.”
As the night unfolded, another monument in Central Park, the Gen William Tecumseh Sherman statue, was similarly vandalized. “Free Gaza” was written in red letters on the statue’s base, and a Palestinian flag was affixed to the front.
Earlier in the evening, police had arrested about two dozen protesters on Madison Ave and East 83rd Street as they marched from Hunter College toward the Met. Despite the large police presence, the crowd managed to block traffic along Fifth Avenue until being stopped near the East 79th Street Transverse in Central Park. They chanted, “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest,” while displaying Palestinian flags and wearing keffiyehs.
Confusion ensued as protesters, initially rerouted into Central Park by police, found themselves at a standstill without clear directions on how to proceed. After some time, they exited the park and attempted to approach the Met once more but were halted by a police blockade.
In a separate but related event, nearly 1,000 pro-Israel demonstrators gathered at Riverside Park in support of Jewish students facing antisemitism at universities like Columbia University. The rally was held on Yom HaShoah, the day of Holocaust remembrance, emphasizing the need to combat antisemitism and remember past atrocities.
Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, spoke at the rally, comparing the anti-Israel protests to actions of “modern-day Nazis” and criticized what he described as a selective outrage that overlooks other global injustices. Erdan emphasized the urgency of action against antisemitism, especially in academic environments.
The day’s events highlighted ongoing tensions and divisions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, manifesting both locally and internationally.


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