Banners calling for end to war in Gaza destroyed

(KRON) — Viral video shows a man with a knife slashing a banner in San Jose calling for an end to the war in Gaza.

The video (above) was shot on Sunday, but this was not the first time the banners and volunteer group that hung the banners have been messed with in the past month. San Jose police said they are investigating.

In the video, a voice can be heard saying, “Sir, you have no right to do this,” as a man slashes and tears down the pro-Palestine banners hung on Park Avenue overcrossing 880.

“I felt really intimidated, threatened and unsafe,” a Muslim community volunteer who wished to remain anonymous told KRON4. “There were several times where I thought he was going to pull out a gun and I genuinely was afraid for my life.

The volunteer said for weeks, his group has been putting up these banners around San Jose.

“The message itself calls for the end of violence in the Gaza strip; the end of the genocide against the people in Gaza,” the volunteer said. “This person decided to walk over those rights and become violent.”

The Council on American Islamic Relations said this case should be investigated as a hate crime.

“To see them come under attack by an anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian person in our community raises a lot of concerns for their safety and our broader community’s safety,” said Zarha Biloo, CAIR executive director.

San Jose police said this incident, along with another banner theft involving the same volunteer group are under investigation.

“There is zero tolerance for hate, and hate crimes in San José. All hate incidents are treated with the utmost seriousness and will be given priority attention,” San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said in a statement.

The volunteer said this negative experience will not discourage him from sharing the message.

“Things like this do not intimidate us and we’re standing for the truth,” the volunteer said.

It’s unclear if the San Jose police have identified the vandal. The District Attorney’s office will decide if this act was a hate crime.

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