Pro-Palestine demonstrators attempted to enter the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday for the second consecutive weekend.
The protest began at 2 p.m., with the organizers, Within Our Lifetime, planning to conduct an “anti-colonial tour” at the museum two hours later.
“AMNH has multiple corporate patrons that are facilitating the ongoing genocide of Gaza, including the Bank of New York Mellon which houses the fund for Friends of the IDF + holds 6 million in shares of ElBit,” the ‘Palestinian-led community organization’ wrote in an Instagram post. “AMNH is a bastion of colonial history and indigenous genocide, as they hold over 12,000 human remains.”
By 4 p.m., several hundred protesters had gathered outside the museum, chanting things like “Free Palestine” and “there is only one solution, Intifada revolution.”
Ahead of the protest, Within Our Lifetime had instructed participants to arrive in small groups with Palestinian flags and banners.
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The museum, forewarned from last weekend’s attempt, was barricaded by police. After failing to gain entry, someone in the crowd released a smoke bomb which contained the colors of the Palestinian flag.
The group then started moving downtown. Video shared on X (formerly Twitter) show protestors ripping down Hamas hostage posters and getting into altercations with passersby. Another video shows the group outside of a Times Square McDonald’s where they were pepper sprayed by security after trying to enter.
The AMNH was also the target of a protest on November 19, when climate activists from Extinction Rebellion staged a ‘die-in’ inside and on the steps of the iconic museum.