Pro-Palestinian protesters deface front of the New York City Public Library

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, November 24, 2023
1 arrested after pro-Palestinian protesters deface front of the NYC Public Library
Eyewitness News has more on the pro-Palestinian protest at the New York City Library.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A pro-Palestinian group of protesters packed the streets in front of the New York Public Library's main branch near Bryant Park on Thursday.

The group was met with police as they spray-painted the words "Free Palestine" on the pillars of the front of the building.

They also spray-painted what appeared to look like bloody handprints on the base of the building.

The library responded with a statement on Thursday night, saying it "strongly supports" the right to protest, but says it is facing steep budget cuts and the vandalism will be costly to repair.

"The New York Public Library is a public institution with a mission to provide free access to knowledge for all. We strongly support the right to protest. Unfortunately today, individuals involved in a protest vandalized the Library's flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman building, a space devoted to the open exchange of ideas and intellectual debate. This comes at a time when the city's libraries are facing steep budget cuts that have left us unable to maintain our current levels of service, and this vandalism will be costly to repair. We do not anticipate any unplanned closures due to this, and remain committed to providing the resources we know so many people rely on," the statement said.

Police made one arrest in connection to the graffiti. Charges are pending. Several others were arrested at the protest for unrelated matters.

Earlier in the day at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, pro-Palestinian protesters briefly interrupted the celebration, gluing themselves to the parade route and forcing the parade to continue around it.

Kemberly Richardson has more on the demonstration that disrupted the parade.

About 30 protesters were protesting along Sixth Avenue when a handful jumped the barricades, ran into street and apparently glued themselves to Sixth Avenue.

They were wearing white jumpsuits sprayed with fake blood and labeled with words like "colonialism" and "consumerism."

The protesters refused to leave Sixth Avenue until they were taken into custody.


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