Sundance Disrupted by Pro-Palestine Protests

( – The Palestinian Solidarity Association of Utah has organized a protest at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. The event, protected by a group called Armed Queers Salt Lake City, aimed its message at artists, creatives, and anybody attending the festival, emphasizing the Palestinian use of art as resistance against what they call Israeli occupation. The protest, part of global rallies supporting Gaza, drew attention mostly because it was planned to take place at the same time and place as the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance is an annual film festival where new movies are premiered to the audience before they are released worldwide.

Media reports indicate that large names in Hollywood, like Indya Moore and Melissa Barrera, were at the protest. Barrera and Moore, attending film premieres at Sundance, have been vocal supporters of the Palestinian cause since the October 7 events when Hamas launched attacks on Israel from Gaza. The protest, though smaller than some global demonstrations, gained prominence as it unfolded alongside the film festival.

Utah Highway Patrol officers along with the Salt Lake City Armed Queer members attended to ensure the safety of the pro-Palestinian activists. The local police and the Sundance festival crew were aware of the protest in advance.

A few pro-Israel counter-protesters were present and chanting pro-Israel slogans against the larger crowd’s very common slogan of “From the River to the Sea.” The slogan “Bring Them Home”, used by pro-Israel activists globally, advocates for the immediate release of hostages held by Hamas. Currently, over 130 hostages remain in captivity in Gaza. The phrase is also used by some groups that are critical of the Netanyahu-led Israeli government, saying that the government of Israel is not doing enough to secure the hostages’ safe release from captivity.

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