Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom will not be holding a live annual Christmas tree lighting due to planned protests and will be doing a pre-recorded virtual ceremony Wednesday instead, according to KCRA 3 News.
Pro-Palestinian protesters around the U.S. targeted Christmas tree lightings within the last month, including in Ypsilanti, Michigan and New York City, according to Newsweek. At least one pro-Palestinian group planned to march past the California capitol on Tuesday and other protests were also planned near the lighting of the tree, according to KCRA 3 News. (RELATED: California Will Soon Fine Stores That Don’t Have A ‘Gender Neutral’ Kids Toy Section)
“As we continue to see protests across the country impacting the safety of events of all scales – and for the safety and security of all participating members and guests including children and families – the ceremony this year will be virtual,” a spokesperson for Newsom said Tuesday, according to KCRA 3 News.
“The program is unchanged and viewers can tune in Wednesday evening to watch this year’s festivities,” the spokesperson continued.
The California Highway Patrol’s permit calendar showed last week that the tree lighting ceremony was scheduled for Tuesday evening, according to KCRA 3 News. Over the weekend the listing was removed and on Monday the California Highway Patrol barricaded the capitol’s west side lawn.
“Governor Newsom decided to cancel the tree lighting ceremony rather than face the public that is enraged by his shameful silence on the genocide in Gaza. This certainly doesn’t add up with his past stance with Native Americans,” Yassar Dahbour of Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights, told KCRA 3 News.
In the past two months pro-Palestinian protesters have swarmed the Capitol Office Building in Washington D.C., rioted outside of the White House, and marched the streets of multiple cities across the nation.
Newsom did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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