Gaza war protesters set off smoke bombs, clash with cops outside Biden fundraiser

Protests by anti-Gaza war proponents against US President Joe Biden’s fundraiser in Manhattan, New York turned violent on Friday, resulting in multiple arrests and clashes with police.

The event, held at the Hammerstein Ballroom, was disrupted by pro-Palestine protesters who marched from Madison Square Garden, setting off smoke bombs and leading to the arrest of at least 32 demonstrators, according to a New York Post report.

The protesters confronted police in riot gear on the sidewalk near the venue. Videos shared on social media showed the chaos, with police taking several protesters into custody through the smoke while others tried to intervene.

Officers were heard shouting “Clear the block” as they attempted to control the situation. A scrum of demonstrators briefly occupied the lobby of the James A Farley Building before returning to the street.

The protesters, organised by pro-Palestinian group Within Our Lifetime, raised ‘Intifada’ slogans and chanted, “Biden Biden, you’re a liar. You set Palestine on fire.” The group had stated on a flier that “genocidal politicians are not welcome in New York City.”

At the fundraiser, over 640 donors gathered to hear Biden reaffirm his commitment to seeking a second term after a widely panned debate performance against Republican rival Donald Trump. Ticket prices for the event ranged from $250 to $500,000, attracting notable figures like actors Billy Porter and Alan Cumming.

The demonstration in Manhattan was the latest in a series of protests and disruptions in New York City since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October. Back in May, pro-Palestinian protesters took over the Manhattan Bridge, blocking traffic on the upper-level westbound lanes.

Pro-Palestinian groups have consistently demanded a ceasefire and an end to the killing of thousands of people in Gaza, often targeting high-profile events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Published By:

Devika Bhattacharya

Published On:

Jun 29, 2024

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