Blocked from reaching Met Gala in NYC, pro-Palestinian protesters burn American flag, vandalise WWI memorial

Several anti-Israel protesters vandalised a World War I memorial in Central Park on Monday, May 6. Many burned an American flag. This happened after a group of over 1,000 marchers were blocked by police from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Met Gala was taking place.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators attend a protest near the Met Gala, an annual fundraising gala held for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institut in New York City, New York, U.S., May 6, 2024 (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)(REUTERS)

Some protesters lit the flag at the site of the One Hundred Seventh Infantry Memorial. The memorial was also vandalised with black graffiti reading ‘Gaza.’

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Protesters were seen plastering the statue’s soldiers with stickers of the Palestinian flag that read “Stop the Genocide. End the apartheid. Free Palestine.” Some of them climbed on top of the infantrymen, draping Palestinian flags over the figures, or waving the flags.

Several arrests made

More than two dozen protesters were arrested near Madison Ave and East 83rd Street earlier the same evening. Many of these demonstrators were marching from Hunter College toward the Met. Trekking north on Fifth Avenue, the crowd blocked traffic. Police eventually stopped them at the East 79th Street Transverse in Central Park.

Hunter College is where the Palestinian activist group Within Our Lifetime called for a “Day of Rage” protest to march towards the Met. “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest,” the group chanted while waving Palestinian flags. They were seen wearing keffiyeh face coverings. Although the demonstrators were believed to have targeted the star-studded event, they were unable to reach the destination.

The crowd was diverted into Central Park, after which police blocked the exits. “This is an exercise in futility at this point. There’s nowhere for them to go,” a cop was heard telling his partner, according to New York Post.

“Is that the Met?” one protester asked another. “Oh no, we were so close.”

The group tried to reach the museum via other routes, but were stopped by cops every time. As dozens of arrests were made, protesters yelled, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?”

News / World News / US News / Blocked from reaching Met Gala in NYC, pro-Palestinian protesters burn American flag, vandalise WWI memorial

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