Historic statues were defaced during the pro-Palestinian protests in Washington D.C. on November 4, 2023, videos and photos show.
Photos on Getty images show that a monument in Lafayette Square was vandalized with graffiti after the rally to support Palestinians. “F*** Biden,” the graffiti said, along with the word “Gaza.”
According to NPR, at least “tens of thousands of people” protested in Washington on Saturday, November 4, 2023, “for one of the biggest pro-Palestinian protests in the U.S.” since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza.
The protesters, who made it to the gate of the White House, are demanding a ceasefire, according to NPR, which reported that the protest began “at Freedom Plaza, before crowds began a march in a loop past the White House a few blocks away.” Speakers demanded that the United States stop funding Israel and accused President Biden “of backing a ‘genocide’ of Palestinian people,” NPR reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Phrase ‘Free Palestine’ Was Written on a General Lafayette Statue Across From the White House
Armstrong Williams, a conservative commentator, posted a video to TikTok showing the words “free Palestine” scrawled over a monument. “Outrageous and maddening. The Palestinian flag is flying high on General Lafayette statue across from Whitehouse where graffiti is everywhere,” he wrote.
One video posted on X (formerly Twitter) includes the caption: “Gaza and Palestinian supporters placed an Arafat shirt on a statue of Benjamin Franklin in Washington today.”
Another photo included the caption: “Palestinian activists DESECRATE numerous war memorials and monuments in Washington DC including a Benjamin Franklin statue and Andrew Jackson memorial.”
According to journalist Simon Ateba, “Pro-Palestine protestors scale the White House fence to raise the Palestinian flag.”
Another photo was captioned: “Palestinian protesters DESECRATE statue of American Revolutionary War General Marquis de Lafayette Statue in Washington DC.”
Another video posted on X included a scene of mass prayer.
Julio Rosas, a writer for Town Hall, wrote on X, “Palestinian flags were also placed on the Rochambeau Statue in Lafayette Square” and “The General Marquis de Lafayette Statue covered in Palestine flags, signs, and graffiti” and “Anti-Israel protesters climbed onto the General John J. Pershing statue too.”
Pro-Palestinian Protesters Waved the Palestinian Flag ‘on Top of the Rochambeau Statue’
In another instance, a protester waved the Palestinian flag “on top of the Rochambeau Statue,” according to a caption by Getty images.
ABC News reported that the protest was organized by multiple groups, including Palestinian Youth Movement, American Muslim Alliance, The People’s Forum, National Students for Justice in Palestine, Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), Maryland2Palestine.
Mohammed El-Kurd, a Palestinian who spoke at the protest, said, according to ABC News: “I want us to take a few minutes to consider the magnitude of loss of life currently happening in the Gaza Strip. I want us to consider what it means to lose 10,000 people; for 10,000 people to be killed by Israeli war planes. Consider their families and their grief. Consider their lovers. Consider the people missing them. Consider our martyrs’ lives.”
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