BOSTON - There were all of the signs you would expect at the Boston Common tree lighting Thursday night. Music, food, and festivities filled the park as the city continued its tradition of lighting a tree from Nova Scotia.
This year there was no way to ignore the chants from roughly a hundred pro-Palestinian protesters who had gathered at the event. The Boston Coalition for Palestine brought signs, banners, and flags to their rally. At times it was hard from some of the revelers attending the tree lighting ceremony to hear the music and presenters on stage.
This kind of rally at a tree lighting is not unique to Boston. Protests like this have been popping up at tree lighting ceremonies in major cities across the country in recent days.
"We felt like we needed to give a voice for the many Palestinian Christians who do not have a voice," said Fawaz Abusharkh, of the Boston Coalition for Palestine. "Christmas in Palestine got canceled. The tree of Bethlehem is not going to be lit this year because of the genocide in Gaza."
The group moved through the crowd at one point while chanting for the end of civilian deaths in Gaza and for the U.S. to stop funding Israel's defense.
People attending the tree lighting ceremony told WBZ-TV they had mixed reactions to the groups being there. Some said they drove hours to attend the ceremony with their children and grandchildren. Others were here carrying on a decades-long tradition with friends.
"We just think there's a different place they could be," said one woman. "We are OK with it, but just a different place."
At last check, no one was injured from the protests and no arrests were made.
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