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Protests flare at Daley Plaza commemoration of Israel’s founding

In World
May 15, 2024

CHICAGOAn annual event in Daley Plaza to commemorate the founding of Israel turned tense this year as pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with supporters of Israel.

The event, which saw the Jewish United Fund celebrating the annual Yom Hautzmaut, marking the day the state of Israel was established in 1948, drew a large crowd of supporters to Daley Plaza. The flag of Israel waved over the plaza, symbolizing the 76th anniversary of the nation’s founding.

However, the celebratory atmosphere was disrupted by the presence of pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Chants from the Palestinian protesters echoed in the distance as police officers, numbering in the dozens, worked to keep the opposing groups separated.

“We are saying that as peace activists, people that are trying to stop the war, trying to stop the genocide, that you are not welcome in the streets of Chicago if what you want is the continued killing of Palestinians,” stated Hatem Abudayyeh of the US Palestinian Community Network.

The event took on added significance this year amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the emergence of protest encampments on college campuses throughout the city.

Police Superintendent Larry Snelling had anticipated potential tensions, calling in additional officers as a precautionary measure. Despite concerns of clashes, authorities managed to maintain peace throughout the event.

The scene at Daley Plaza served as a prelude to the Democratic National Convention, serving as a test for law enforcement’s ability to manage potentially volatile situations in the city.

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