Pro-Palestinian protesters rushed the stage while children were performing at Melbourne’s Carols by Candlelight annual Christmas Eve event, the Guardian reported the following day.
There were reportedly two protesters involved in the incident as thousands of people in attendance looked on.
In a video of the occurrence published to the YouTube channel of news.com.au, an Australian news website owned by News Corp Australia, one of the protesters gets up on a low wall in front of the orchestra, holding a Palestinian flag.
Pro-Palestine activists have stormed the stage and disrupted Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne, Australia.We really need to start crowd funding Gaza holidays for these people. pic.twitter.com/ejWQIG814i
— chris mate (@ChrisLXXXVI) December 24, 2023
In another video of the incident that went viral on social media, the second protester can be seen brandishing a flag over his head while a call of “free, free Palestine” can be heard.
The demonstrator, who appeared to be wearing socks but no shoes, ran over to the podium and grabbed the microphone from one of the presenters.
She proceeds to scream, “While you’re caroling, kids are dying in Gaza,” into the microphone before being dragged away by two security guards.
‘They’re allowed to have their time in the sun’
“It’s all good. Thank you, everybody,” presenter David Campbell, an Australian actor and singer, said after the protesters had been removed. “They’re allowed to have their moment, they’re allowed to have their time in the sun, but we did have kids here. So we want to make sure those kids are safe.”
The Guardian reported that a 21-year-old woman from Brunswick was arrested. She was also reportedly given an infringement notice for possession of a controlled weapon.
An additional two protesters had also attempted to gain entry to the event but were barred entry, the Guardian added, citing police.
Condemnations of the disturbance to the Carols by Candlelight subsequently flooded social media.
“It’s appalling that the #CarolsbyCandlelight has Palestinian activists threatening David Campbell. Remember this is a #Christian festival,” conservative British MP, David Davis, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Numerous conservative Australian public figures spoke out as well. Sky News Australia anchor Rita Panahi and controversial Australian-Israeli activist and commentator Avi Yemini took to X as well to express their displeasure.
“Pro-Hamas protesters invade stage of Carols By Candlelight in Melbourne as kids watch on in horror,” Yemini wrote. “Their attack on Christmas gives you a little taste of what they’ve done to Jews globally since Oct 7.”