Pro-Palestinian protesters branched out from starting mere street protests to harassing New Yorkers during the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the family event, carrying signs that said “end to genocide” and chanting “river to the sea” and other slogans as families gathered to celebrate the season, according to the New York Post.
The protesters clashed with members of the New York Police Department and were prevented from making it into the event. So, the protesters moved on to gather around the tree erected at the News Corp building, local headquarters of the Post and Fox News.
The Post added that one protester climbed up on the sign bearing the building’s address while another held a sign comparing the Israel Defense Forces to Nazis and bearing a swastika.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) November 29, 2023
The protesters clashed with the NYPD at the Fox building, too.
The NYPD had already planned a higher presence in the city ahead of the plans the Palestinian group had announced for the protest.
After the protest, some officers were upset that they were attacked and felt that the department was not proactive enough.
“They should have shut it down. They lost control of the street. I was shoved, punched, kicked. It’s bulls***,” an officer told the outlet, while another called it “complete chaos.”
Chaos erupts as pro-Palestine protesters fight with NYPD. Multiple arrests made and many were hit with pepper spray pic.twitter.com/Av3FElvh0F
— NJEG Media (@NJEGmedia) November 30, 2023
The folks attending the tree lighting were also unhappy with the intrusion of the protesters.
Jamie Fry, who flew in from the U.K. for the tree lighting, called the whole situation “very annoying.”
“I had planned my holiday around this event, being a big fan of Christmas. Now I’m walled in by a bunch of terrorist-loving a**holes calling for intifada,” he told the paper.
Fry went on to note that the protests did not make him feel any sympathy for their cause.
“Their strategy for sympathy is disruption, but all they’ll get out of me is a big ‘f*** you,'” he said.
“It’s super, super annoying,” said Missouri resident Opal Burnett, who was also in New York for the tree lighting. “Just excruciating. Seeing these people in such large numbers, it makes me feel embarrassed to be an American because people are watching this happening from abroad. Kudos to the cops for keeping these people under control and for showing restraint, because they deal with a lot of verbal abuse.”
“The Christmas tree brings a message of peace, not conflict. That’s why we’re gathered here today, not to protest but to welcome in the holiday season. None of this mob activity is going to take that away from us,” New York resident Lillian Gonzalez said.
The U.S. Mirror also noted that the Palestinian supporters took aim at President Joe Biden.
Some of the protesters were heard chanting “Genocide Joe has got to go,” because of his support of Israel’s efforts to eliminate the Hamas terror group from Gaza.
The Messenger added that a witness said that there were about “600 protesters” who “surged forward as police rush to regain control of the situation.”
The Mirror added that the NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureau says that there is a growing sense of risk for terror threat, saying, the nation “continues to face a heightened and dynamic risk environment from a variety of extremists.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.