Pro-Palestinian Protesters Disrupt 2024 GLAAD Media Awards in NYC

Over 150 protesters, including drag queens and queer activists, rallied at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan, demanding GLAAD cut ties with pro-Israel organizations and corporations. The protest, led by ACT UP NY, coincided with the 2024 GLAAD Media Awards and featured a 40-foot-long banner and disruptions during the ceremony.

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Nitish Verma
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Pro-Palestinian Protesters Disrupt 2024 GLAAD Media Awards in NYC

Pro-Palestinian Protesters Disrupt 2024 GLAAD Media Awards in NYC

Over 150 protesters, including drag queens and queer activists, rallied at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan on May 11, 2024, demanding GLAAD cut ties with pro-Israel organizations and corporations, and break its silence on Palestine. The protest, led, awards by ACT UP NY, coincided with the 2024 GLAAD Media Awards being held at the hotel.

Why this matters: The protest highlights the growing intersectionality of social justice movements, as LGBTQ+ activists increasingly recognize the need to support Palestinian rights and challenge institutions that perpetuate oppression. As the conflict in Gaza continues, the actions of organizations like GLAAD will have significant implications for the global human rights landscape.

The protesters specifically called for GLAAD to end its partnerships with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Google, Walmart, McDonald's, Disney, Hulu, Coca-Cola, Amazon, P&G, and IBM. ACT UP criticized the ADL, claiming it "villainizes students and peaceful protesters who stand in support of Palestine." The group also accused the ADL of anti-Black racism, support for militarized policing, and spreading debunked statistics on antisemitism.

During the protest, a 40-foot-long banner reading "NY LOVES GAZA" was unfurled on the 42nd story of the hotel. The banner featured the watermelon symbol combined with the pink ACT UP triangle, the group's iconic logo. Inside the ceremony, drag artists, disrupt, awards, protest during RuPaul's Drag Race judge Ross Matthews' speech. They were later escorted out by security.

Several celebrities showed support for the protesters' message. Drag queen Sasha Velour wrote on Twitter, "The actions of ADL are not consistent with our standards for justice as a queer community. I urge institutions like GLAAD to publicly suspend all future work with them and support queer Palestinians. None of us will have liberation until all of us do."

Drag artists, disrupt the protest is part of a larger movement of pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have swept college campuses and other major events in recent months, following Israel's incursion into the Gaza Strip. According to multiple outlets, over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023, the majority being women and children.

"As a Queer Palestinian, it goes without question to me that there's no such thing as Queer liberation without the liberation of Palestine," said Noor, a queer Palestinian Syrian artist who spoke at the rally. "We fight for Palestine in honor of our Queer history and ancestors, for those Queer Palestinian siblings of ours living in Palestine, and for all those generations to come."

The protest at the GLAAD Media Awards marks a significant moment in the ongoing movement for Palestinian rights and LGBTQ+ solidarity. As the conflict in Gaza continues, with tens of thousands of Palestinian lives lost, activists are increasingly calling on major organizations like GLAAD to take a stand against the violence and support the queer Palestinian community in their struggle for liberation.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 150 protesters, including drag queens and queer activists, rallied at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan.
  • They demanded GLAAD cut ties with pro-Israel organizations and corporations, and break its silence on Palestine.
  • The protest highlighted the growing intersectionality of social justice movements, including LGBTQ+ and Palestinian rights.
  • Protesters specifically targeted GLAAD's partnerships with organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and major corporations.
  • Celebrities like Sasha Velour showed support for the protesters' message, calling for GLAAD to suspend work with the ADL.