Antifa, pro-Palestinian activists disrupt Seattle Christmas Tree lighting, vandalize local stores

"...we don’t want a protest. We want to light the tree.”

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
Pro-Hamas activists disrupted Seattle's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Westlake Center on Friday night.

Hundreds of activists chanted among other things “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which is considered by some to be a call for the genocide of Jews in Israel.

In response to the disruption, some who came for the tree lighting left the area, according to KIRO 7.

Protestors even took over the main stage set up for the tree-lighting ceremony and pro-Palestine graffiti was found on nearby structures.

Seattleites who remained began chanting, “light the tree,” to combat the pro-Hamas chants.

The tree was eventually lit at approximately 5:15 pm.

According to Seattle police, there were no arrests in connection to the demonstration.

Julie Davis, who attended the event, told the outlet that the protest was “Horrible. I don’t feel safe. I want the tree to light. This is the Christmas spirit. They (protestors) just walked in and took over the stage.”

Davis added, “I don’t think they (children) should be here. Their parents are trying to hide them from all of this.”

“It can bring people to downtown for the purpose of lighting the tree. It’s not for this. If they (protestors) want to do all this, they can do this on their own time, and not bring people together like this because we don’t want a protest. We want to light the tree,” she continued to share.

Earlier in the day, pro-Hamas activists wearing masks marched through other parts of the city and vandalized local storefronts. They were captured on video spray-painting the windows of a Starbucks on Capitol Hill and harassing customers. The behavior was reminiscent of the BLM & Antifa riots that rocked the city in 2020. Antifa markings were also found among the anti-Israel graffiti.

The demonstrations came after Hamas reportedly released 24 hostages who were held captive in Gaza for almost 2 months, while Israel freed 39 Palestinian prisoners as part of a 4-day ceasefire.

14 Seattle area Jewish institutions have been targeted, with actions ranging from letters with white powder to graffiti since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.
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