California Gov. Gavin Newsom Cancels Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony over Pro-Palestinian Protests

Gov. Gavin Newsom, center, holding his son, Dutch is joined by his wife first partner Jenn
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file

Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom canceled a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the state capitol on Tuesday due to pro-Palestinian protests.

Newsom made the move for fear of the safety of children and families that would be present at the ceremony. Last month, for instance, a cadre of pro-Palestinian protesters overwhelmed security at the California Democratic Convention. Pro-Palestinian groups had planned to descend on the tree lighting ceremony in the same way they did the Rockefeller Center ceremony in New York City last week.

A spokesperson for the governor said that Newsom will hold a virtual ceremony and distribute a pre-recorded version on Wednesday.

“As we continue to see protests across the country impacting the safety of events of all scales — and for the safety and security of all participating members and guests including children and families — the ceremony this year will be virtual,” the spokesperson said.

Politico reported that the California Highway Patrol, “which oversees Capitol security, confirmed the cancellation to but did not give a reason, referring questions to the governor’s office.”

“Once the governor’s event had been canceled, the Palestinian groups that organized the march obtained a permit to hold a 300-person demonstration near the site of the 67-foot-tall holiday tree,” noted the outlet.

Watch: Massive Pro-Palestinian Protest Swarms Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting

As Breitbart News reported last week, protesters estimated in the hundreds swarmed the surrounding areas of Rockefeller Center and were seen clashing with police while chanting anti-Israel slogans like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

“Waving Palestinian flags and signs calling for the ‘end to genocide,’ the ralliers gathered along Sixth Avenue alongside hordes of tourists waiting in line to see the iconic ceremony,” reported the New York Post.

The activists had been gathered outside the News Corp building, which also serves as home to the New York Post and Fox News. Video of the incident has been widely shared online:

As noted by Fox News, the NYPD had been on high alert leading up to the tree lighting in fear of a possible clash with pro-Palestinian protesters:

The New York City Police Department has issued a warning ahead of planned pro-Palestinian protests during the annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting on Wednesday night, according to a report.

The NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureau issued the threat assessment advisory to law enforcement and government agencies and noted that protesters could use the tree lighting “as an opportunity to draw attention to their own causes,” according to the memo obtained by ABC News.

“While many of these actions would likely constitute First Amendment protected activity, they could prove disruptive to the event and potentially pose a security risk,” the assessment states.

The disruption came days after pro-Palestinian activists disrupted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when they glued themselves to the street in the middle of the parade route.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature filmEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms. 


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