Trans actor Hunter Schafer among activists arrested at pro-Palestine protest

Hunter Schafer joined the group Jewish Voice for Peace to protest US President Joe Biden’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict in Palestine.

Actor Hunter Schafer being arrested for a pro-Palestine protest in New York. she is escorted out by police officers while wearing a mask and a t-shirt that reads
Image: Via X - @schaferfiles

Trans actor Hunter Schafer was among those arrested for a pro-Palestine protest at New York City’s Rockefeller Center during US President Joe Biden’s appearance on Seth Meyer’s late-night show. The protest was organised by the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace to oppose Biden’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Hunter Schafer, best known for her roles in the HBO drama Euphoria and the film Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, joined demonstrators at the pro-Palestine protest on Monday, February 26. According to the New York Post, the actor was issued a summons for trespassing after being escorted out of the building by an officer with her hands restrained behind her back.

Police sources confirmed that 33 people were arrested at the protest, where demonstrators stormed the Rockefeller Centre lobby chanting “end the siege of Gaza now” and carrying signs that read “Jews to Biden: End Israel’s Siege of Gaza”.

The group organised the sit-in to condemn Biden’s foreign policy regarding the conflict in Palestine and to call for an immediate ceasefire. The pro-Palestinian protesters, including Schafer, were wearing “ceasefire now” t-shirts and signalled that they were a group of Jewish Americans who opposed Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Taking to X, the group wrote that “hundreds of Jews and allies” had taken over the Rockefeller Center to make it clear to the president that “supporters of genocide are not welcome in our city”.


The organisation added, “The President needs to start answering to the American people – not the far-Right Israeli government indiscriminately bombing the people of Gaza, destroying 70 per cent of infrastructure, including hospitals, universities and the electricity and water grids.”

The groups also condemned how the US vetoed multiple UN ceasefire resolutions and the fact that Biden “​​pledged an additional $14.1billion in military funding to Israel”.

During the protest, Biden was making an appearance as a surprise guest on Seth Meyer’s 10th anniversary episode of his late-night show. When asked about the ongoing conflict in Palestine, Biden said that his administration was hoping to have a ceasefire by the end of the week. “My national security adviser tells me that we’re close, we’re close, we’re not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire,” he added.


However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “surprised” by such remarks from the US President, given that Israel and Hamas are not close to a potential deal.

Hunter Schafer and the Jewish Voice for Peace group join thousands of others from around the world in calling for an immediate end to the destruction and violence in Palestine. Elsewhere, LGBTQ+ athletes were among the over 200 sports stars who signed an open letter demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. Among those who signed the Athletes for Ceasefire letter were Layshia Clarendon, Natasha Cloud, Jasmine Thomas, Amanda Zahui B., boxer Patricio Manuel, climber Trish Ang, football player Sylvie Aibeche, gymnast Danell Johan Leyva, rugby player Ceara Lafferty, soccer player Hedvig Lindahl, and track athletes Emma Gee, Nikki Hiltz, and Erin Paget Dees.

In the letter, addressed to President Biden, they wrote: “We call for humanity, empathy and an immediate ceasefire. In the wake of an unfolding genocide in Gaza, as described by countless legal scholars, human rights experts, and international organizations across the world. We, as athletes, recognize our moral responsibility to utilize our platform for a higher purpose: to save human lives and to raise awareness about this ongoing tragedy.

“We are unable to turn a blind eye to the devastation being inflicted on civilians, especially children, in the Gaza Strip, through bombing campaigns funded in part by the U.S.,” the letter continued.

“As professional athletes, we underscore our shared humanity, and advocate for a path that respects all human life, regardless of religion or ethnic background.”

Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 68,000 wounded since Israel launched its military offensive in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attack on October 7, last year. Many more had to flee their homes to avoid being killed in the airstrikes, with estimates showing that 90% of the population in the Strip has been displaced.

The Israeli government is now pressing ahead with plans for an attack on Rafah, a small city in the South of the Gaza Strip. Before the war started, Rafah was home to about 300,000 people, but its population swelled considerably after Israel ordered civilians in Gaza to evacuate south. It is now estimated that 1.5 million people are living there, with many living in tent camps and makeshift shelters after fleeing the bombardments.

© 2024 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.