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Pro-Palestine protest takes place in San Francisco during holiday season

2024.01.07 19:18:57 Yujun Lee

[Pro-Palestine protesters are protesting at Union Square. Photo Credit: Yujun Lee]

Several people supporting Palestine demonstrated at Union Square in downtown San Francisco, California, on Saturday, December 23rd, 2023.

In this protest, the protesters stood in solidarity with Palestine and the Palestinian civilians currently facing serious violence due to the Israel-Hamas war.


The Israel-Hamas war, an ongoing conflict that began on October 7th, 2023, initiated with an attack by Hamas, a Palestinian political and military organization based in the Gaza Strip.


The root cause of this war lies in the complex conflict arising from religious and historical disagreements between Israelis and Palestinians.


Union Square, located in downtown San Francisco, had Christmas related decorations, including an 83-foot Christmas tree and holiday activities such as the Holiday Ice Rink, as part of the Christmas holiday season celebration.


Starting around 2 p.m., protesters marched and gathered at Union Square, occupying a portion of the area, mainly in the western region near the Christmas tree.


While Christmas celebrations for tourists and other citizens continued on one side of the square, the protest unfolded on the opposite side.


The protesters claimed that Israel had committed a series of genocidal acts during the war in the Gaza Strip, where the conflict between Israel and Hamas is most intense.


The demonstrators demanded a permanent and immediate end to aggressive acts causing harm to innocent civilians, expressing their demands through slogans such as “Ceasefire” and “Free Palestine” in unison.


Supporters of Palestine expressed their support by holding and waving the Palestinian flags or wearing them as cloaks.


Additionally, some protesters held signs with slogans, such as “No X-mas as Usual in a genocide,” a common slogan in pro-Palestine protests nationwide, including in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.


While the majority of the protest remained peaceful and under control, there were instances of conflict.


Some structures were vandalized, such as hanging the Palestinian flag on the Christmas tree, which was not accessible, graffiti on the Dewey Monument, and other Christmas and public structures.


As a result, four individuals were arrested by the police in Union Square, facing charges such as vandalism, assault, and battery on a police officer.

Yujun Lee / Grade 10
Homestead High School