Melissa Barrera joined a crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters at the Sundance Film Festival today, chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The protesters, who marched halfway down Park City's Main Street in the snow, were under heavy police surveillance and swarmed by media. Part of the purpose of Demo Sunday was to get the attention of cameras and reporters in the huge media spotlight that Sundance attracts every year.
Passers-by at the festival were heard shouting at protesters to “bring them home”, a reference to the hostages still being held in Gaza by Hamas for the past three months.
At Sundance for the genre film Your monstersBarrera has been outspoken in support of Palestine and a cease-fire in the Gaza war, which erupted after Hamas's murderous and sexually violent attacks on communities and military bases near the Jewish state's border.
Barrera's pro-Palestinian support in the community was debunked by Spyglass Media. VII Shout again In November the studio deemed his comments anti-Semitic. After a few days he broke his silence. I condemn any form of hatred or prejudice against any group,” Barrera said in a statement shared on Instagram Stories.
Barrera told Deadline today that he “doesn't do any interviews, but you're welcome to videotape me.” Later, dangling from banners at the front of the marchers, Barrera recited with the crowd: “In our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians!”
The Let Gaza Live protest has been in the works for weeks. Protesters boarded buses at the Kimball Junction station, seven miles from Main Street, before touching down at the main bus station near Sweden Lane.
A small group of Film Workers for Palestine gathered yesterday, just off Park City's Main Street, with 25 pro-Palestinian participants this morning ahead of today's big rally. At the vigil yesterday, organizers read out a list of names “whose stories ended in martyrdom”. Gaza Angel Documentary director Ahmed Mansoor speaks
The Let Gaza Live event posted on social media earlier this week wrote that “people can't continue to watch images on their screens while ignoring a genocide in Gaza despite the bombings.”
“While we don't take issue with Sundance as a whole, we aim to let viewers and news reporters know that Utah stands with Palestine,” added the Palestinian Solidarity UT Committee. Organizers are not affiliated with the overall Sundance Film Festival.
On October 7, Hamas attacked Israel. More than 1,400 people died in the brutal siege, with detailed evidence of widespread rapes and hundreds of people, including children, taken hostage. Within hours, Israel bombarded Hamas strongholds. Within weeks, hundreds of thousands of IDF troops had crossed the border into Gaza. Since Hamas took over, Gaza has been destroyed and most of the population has been displaced.
Mixing politics with cinema is messy at Sundance. There were two back-to-back women's marches in 2017 and 2018 in response to Donald Trump's presidency; Jane Fonda, Gloria Allred and others attended the rally Thor Actress Tessa Thompson. The 2017 March on Main was 8,000 strong, while the 2018 rally had 400 people in the middle of a heavy snowstorm at the time.