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Activists Adorn Fresno City Hall Christmas Tree With Images of Dead Palestinians
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By Edward Smith
Published 4 months ago on
December 22, 2023

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Pro-Palestinian activists adorned the Christmas tree outside Fresno City Hall with ornaments featuring images of people — including children — said to have been killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza.

Dozens of ornaments with images accompanied by phrases such as “20000 murdered,” “We are not numbers,” and, “They were doctors art mothers kids teachers students” were on the tree late Friday morning.

By 2 p.m. Friday, they had been removed.

Fresno City Manager Georgeanne White said that ornaments are not allowed on the tree and they would be removed Friday. White also said she would not send Fresno police to stop people from hanging ornaments.

Ornaments hang from the Christmas tree outside Fresno City Hall, Friday, Dec. 22, 2023. (GV Wire/Edward Smith)

“We’re not going to be able to leave them up, but I’m not going to send PD in to physically stop somebody from hanging an ornament on the tree,” White said.

When GV Wire arrived at the scene, the activists had already put up the ornaments and left.

The tree, which is owned by the Downtown Fresno Partnership, is on a public sidewalk outside City Hall. Elliott Balch, president of the Downtown Fresno Partnership, was not immediately available to comment.

The ornaments on the Christmas tree outside Fresno City Hall were removed by 2 p.m., Dec. 22, 2023. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Dyer Calls for Unity Among Fresno’s Jews, Muslims

The ornaments were placed on the tree the morning after Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer held a brief news conference at City Hall.

Surrounded by several Jews and Muslims, Dyer said: “We stand unified and believe there’s only one side in Fresno, and that is the side of peace, unity, and nonviolence. There’s no room for hatred. There’s no room for intolerance. There is no room for prejudice. And there is no room for the killing of innocent people.”

Dyer added that he hoped for a “peaceful resolution to conflicts” — referencing the Hamas-Israel war.

The Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 triggered a war that has killed more than 20,000 Palestinians and devastated Gaza, where the United Nations says 1 in 4 people are starving. Hamas and other militants killed some 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7, mostly civilians, and took another 240 people hostage.

(GV Wire’s David Taub contributed to this story.)

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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