Protesters Burn American Flag, Vandalize WWI Memorial

( – Anti-Israel protestors in New York vandalized a World War I memorial and set fire to an American flag. The incident happened on May 6 as police prevented demonstrators from disrupting an annual gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The base of Central Park’s Great War monument was vandalized with the words “Gaza” and “Palestine will be free” while the US flag burned nearby.

One person reportedly climbed to the top of the 107th Infantry Memorial with a Palestinian flag, while others defaced the bronze soldiers with spray-painted pro-Palestinian slogans. No police were present at the time.

Close to the Met Gala, however, NYPD officers made several arrests as participants in the self-described “day of rage” broke through barriers. More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered near the glitzy event after marching from Hunter College around a mile away. Chaos erupted on Fifth Avenue as flares and fireworks accompanied violent clashes with law enforcement.

Among those arrested on the day was Alvin Dan, a 32-year-old seasoned demonstrator from Staten Island who was also detained following disruptions at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year. Dan was subject to a lawsuit for harassing a Jewish journalist at the Bedford-Stuyvesant bar, where he was employed the previous spring. This week, he was issued a desk appearance ticket by New York cops.

Also detained was Tara Sacerdote, a graduate of the elite Smith College in Massachusetts, who advertised the “day of rage” on her social media pages. Leila Nouri, a resident of Manhattan’s exclusive Upper West Side, was accused of injuring a police officer and charged with felony assault, resisting arrest, and harassment. The 21-year-old was released without bail.

The Met Gala is one of New York’s glitziest annual events and attracts A-list celebrities. This year’s guest list included Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Chris Hemsworth. The event raises funds for the famous New York Metropolitan Museum, which hosts America’s most extensive art collection and the fourth largest in the world.

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