Megan Hayes | News Editor
A yearly staple of the holiday season is gathering around the TV (or shoving yourself into a crowd) to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It begins on 77th and Central Park West Street in New York, USA, and ends in Herald Square at the Macy’s store. However, this year many noticed there were a larger than average amount of commercials disrupting our viewing of the parade.
Around a group of around 30 pro-palestinian protestors from the Seven Circles Alliance had stormed the crowd barriers during the parade, appearing in front of the McDonalds Grimace float. These protestors, from the group SCA are based around climate, social justice and political activism. After the parade, SCA stated that they interrupted the parade for 20 minutes to “bring attention to the genocide and ethnic cleansing happening in Palestine”. Some had begun to sit, some adorned Palestinian flags and signs, as well as large banners which stated “genocide then, genocide now” as well as “liberation for Palestine and planet”. Several floats continued on the road to Herald Square, avoiding the protestors.
Some of the protestors were adorned in white jumpsuits covered in a pinkish-red liquid presumably meant to replicate blood. The protestors also had this fake blood, and were pouring it on eachother on the pavement. Across the front of their jumpsuits were words like “colonialism”, “militarism” and more words associated with war. One of the signs carried stated “no more dimes for Israel’s crimes”, a powerful and politically dividing statement which spoke to America’s past and present financial support for Israel. There is also much discussion, especially within younger generations like Gen Z on Tiktok and other similar platforms, on the effect of this protest happening on a “consumerist” holiday. Many think this is a stab at Macy’s for dispelling a holiday meant for family time to commercialize on new and upcoming shows and toys, and amid this conflict the pro-palestinian protestors decided it was the ideal time to get involved.
During this event, there were many long flashes of commercials to cover the protests – which angered many as the political activists did not get any airtime on this issue. On the other hand, parade-goers and watchers at home shared outrage for such an event happening at a family-friendly holiday event, especially with fake blood. Many said nothing as there has not been a lot of footage released, other than smartphone footage uploaded to social media.
Then, on Black Friday, these protestors targeted Macy’s yet again with the same anti-consumerist mindset. Within the crowds of the New York Macy’s, chants similar to “why are you shopping? Bombs are dropping” flew through the air from the group's interference bombarding shoppers as they tried to enter the store. Down the street, on 34th street and 6th avenue, protestors with giant Palestinian flags crowded around the PUMA store, to protest their support of Israel’s football league. Police shut it down as it was causing issues in traffic within the city.
After the event, Joe Biden released a statement thanking those first responders during the holiday season, and did not mention anything about the parade. The next day, on November 24th, a ceasefire was issued between Israel and Palestine for the releasing and trading of hostages back to their groups.