Gaza at the Gala: Dozens arrested at pro-Palestine Met protest

Gaza at the Gala: Dozens arrested at pro-Palestine Met protest
The rally, labeled 'The Day of Rage', attracted hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters who marched outside the Met Gala event, protesting Israel's raids in Gaza
3 min read
07 May, 2024
The NYPD arrested at least 27 pro-Palestinian activists in the US city, who lead a rally to the Met Gala [Getty/file photo]

Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested near the Met Gala event in New York on Monday, as protests in solidarity with Gaza took place in the US's biggest city.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the city in a rally named 'The Day of Rage', called for by the pro-Palestinian group Within Our Lifetime, starting at Hunter College to the Metropolitan Art Museum where the high-profile charity event was held.

Among the rallying points were the gates of Columbia University, which has been the centre of pro-Gaza protests, before demonstrators marched through Manhattan to the US's fashion's biggest night - or at least as close as police would let them.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) reportedly put barricades up around the museum in anticipation of the demonstrations, US website Axios added.

At least 27 people were arrested, the NYPD said, as cited by Axios, though the charges brought against them were not revealed. 

Demonstrators could be heard chanting: "How many kids have you killed today, Israel or USA?". Videos shared online showed a huge police presence at the event as protesters were being arrested.

The Met Gala attracts the world’s leading actors, singers and designers, who took up to the red carpet to showcase outfits adhering to this year’s theme - 'Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion'.

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Activists took to social media to urge people to not let the Met Gala "distract them" from Israel’s latest series of attacks on Rafah.

Gaza’s southernmost city is home to 1.4 million displaced Palestinians - who are mostly living in dire conditions due to overcrowding and a lack of basic necessities - amid a looming ground offensive by Israel.

At least 20 Palestinians were killed in overnight Israeli strikes, as Israel took control of the vital Rafah crossing between the Gazan border city and Egypt.

Hamas had agreed late on Monday to a ceasefire proposal amid ongoing truce talks, while Israel said it "was far from its essential demands", though the government said it would send negotiators for talks "to exhaust the potential for arriving at an agreement".

The protests occurred in the backdrop of pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have swept US college campuses in recent weeks, inspired by the protest and a solidarity encampment for Gaza at Columbia University in mid-April.

Hundreds of students have been arrested in the crackdown, with reports of police forces using excessive violence against them. 

At least 34,789 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military since its brutal onslaught began on October 7. Thousands are feared trapped under rubble while the spread of disease and the severe lack of basic are likely to exacerbate the death toll.