Anti-Israel protesters blocked from disrupting Met Gala

War memorial desecrated and dozens of arrests made in connection with protest near Met Gala


Police tackle anti-Israel protesters disrupting the arrivals for the 2024 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2024 in New York. (Photo by ANDREA RENAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

New York riot police clashed with protesters on Monday near the Met Gala as dozens of anti-Israel demonstrators were reportedly arrested.

Last night, hundreds of anti-Israel protesters donning keffiyehs, with Palestinian flags and megaphones marched towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where celebrities gathered for the annual gala.

As the biggest names in entertainment and fashion arrived at the museum for the mammoth fundraising event, anti-Israel protesters appeared to attempt to disrupt the arrival of celebrities, who famously ascend the museum’s steps surrounded by paparazzi.

Protesters carried cardboard signs with slogans including “no Met Gala while bombs drop in Gaza” and “no celebration without liberation”.

Dozens of demonstrators came within a block of disrupting the event, where celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker gathered. Separated from the gala by the New York Police Department and metal barricades, some demonstrators were filmed trying to penetrate the fencing as they approached 5th Avenue.

Around 1,000 protesters took to the streets of New York, marching on the Upper East Side of Manhattan before pushing through the barricades. Police diverted the group towards Central Park by forming a blockade two officers deep.

After being diverted by the police, some protesters made their way to Central Park, where they were filmed ascending a war memorial and waving Palestinian flags, before spraying “Gaza” on its base. An American flag was also filmed being burned in front of the monument. 

While some protesters allegedly said they intended to crash the gala, others said they did not know about it. The activist group Within Our Lifetime had helped to organise the protests and called for a "Day of Rage".

The New York Times reported that arrests started at around 6.30 pm on Madison Avenue a block away from the gala. At least one helicopter was heard circling the area. An NYPD spokesperson said officers took 27 protesters into custody, according to Axios.

Meanwhile, some pro-Israel demonstrators also gathered nearby.

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