The traditional goodwill surrounding the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City ran into angry pro-Palestinian protesters just outside the event.
News reports indicated hundreds of protesters swarmed the streets surrounding Rockefeller Center, as police tried to separate Christmas revelers from the protests, pushing back people chanting “river to the sea.” Arrests were made and several fights broke out.
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Many of those who wished to see the Christmas tree lighting were turned away in the chaos.
Barry Manilow, Carly Pearce, Darene Love, Katherine Mcphee and David Foster, Liz Gillies, and the Radio City Rockettes were among the artists scheduled to perform.
The event was televised by NBC, which focused on the stars on the stage to the exclusion of the riotous behavior yards away.
Waving Palestinian flags and signs, the protesters gathered along Sixth Avenue alongside tourists waiting in line to see the tree ceremony.
Police were ready for the disruption, having placed the ceremony on “high alert” status in anticipation of the protests.
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