A rally supporting the Palestinian cause is taking place at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, just ahead of the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Organizers, through a flier, have urged supporters to gather in the area an hour before the 7 p.m. (Eastern) tree lighting event. This date coincides with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, recognized by the United Nations since 1977.
The NYPD is making preparations for potential protests, considering recent disruptions during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, resulting in 30 individuals receiving trespassing tickets, and a few arrests for disorderly conduct.
Despite ongoing protests in New York City and worldwide calling for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the NYPD has assured that the tree lighting ceremony will proceed as planned without disruptions. The event will feature performances by Cher and Darlene Love, who will present a re-recorded version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” from Cher’s new holiday album. Brooklyn’s Barry Manilow and the Rockettes are also slated to perform.
The Christmas tree this year is adorned with 50,000 lights and crowned with a 9-foot, 900-pound Swarovski star covered in 3 million crystals. As part of the city’s Open Streets program, Fifth Avenue will be closed from 48th Street to 59th Street in Midtown between noon and 6 p.m. on December 3, 10, and 17.