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Behind the Aegis

(54,118 posts)
Mon Apr 8, 2024, 03:20 AM Apr 8

'Tactical gear' during Palestinian flag-raising at Palo Alto City Hall rattles local Jews [View all]

The mayor of Palo Alto said the city is placing locks on the flagpoles outside city hall after pro-Palestinian protesters replaced three government flags with Palestinian flags over the weekend.

The Jewish Community Relations Council Bay Area called the gesture an “act of extreme disrespect” to the United States and to California. It was one of a few elements of the protest that raised concerns among Jewish groups.

The flag-raising came during a protest organized by Vigil 4 Gaza, an activist group that’s held weekly demonstrations since February in Palo Alto in support of the Palestinian cause, raising awareness about Palestinian victims of the Israel-Hamas war and challenging American support for Israel.

At prior events, demonstrators stood on a street corner near city hall, waving Palestinian flags and holding signs calling for a “Free Palestine” and cease-fire or accusing Israel of genocide. However, at least two of the demonstrators on Saturday went a step further and wore “tactical gear” and carried nonlethal weapons, worrying passersby.


A protester dressed in tactical gear at the March 30 protest. (Photo/Alan Crystal)

Photos show a protester, whose face is fully covered except for their eyes, wearing body armor and carrying a billy club, handcuffs, a flashlight and what looks like pepper spray in a front pocket. The person is wearing a kaffiyeh and a patch that says “zero tolerance.”

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