27 arrested during pro-Palestinian protest targeting NYC Met Gala

NEW YORK — Twenty-seven people were arrested during the pro-Palestinian protest targeting the Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, police said Tuesday.

Leila Nouri, 21, was charged with assault and resisting arrest when she allegedly pushed back against police officers arresting her as they tried to disperse the crowd near Madison Ave. and E. 80th St. about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Five others arrested at the scene were issued desk appearance tickets, the top charge against them either resisting arrest or criminal trespass, then released.

The other 21 were issued summons for disorderly conduct.

The arrests capped the protests dubbed “Day Of Rage For Gaza: From The Encampments To The Streets.”

It began Monday afternoon around 4 p.m. at Columbia University and New York University, with a planned meet-up at Hunter College at 5 p.m. before marching towards the Met. But cops stopped protesters about a block away from the museum, barricading off the street to ensure no one got through.

The large group splintered off into four smaller groups as they appeared to search for a way to bypass police.

One of the groups marched down Fifth Ave. to E. 67th St. where they came across the One Hundred Seventh Infantry Memorial, which honors members of the infantry who died in World War I.

A Daily News reporter witnessed the group burn an American flag and spray paint the words “Gaza” and “free Palestine” across the massive bronze memorial. There were no arrests at the intersection as police did not witness the vandalism.

The group continued down Fifth Ave. to E. 59th St. where they vandalized the General William Tecumseh Sherman Monument in the southeast corner of Central Park.

Protesters hung a Palestinian flag and defaced the statue with spray paint and stickers. Cops surrounded the memorial to keep the group from doing further damage.

Sources said the Met had a larger security contingent than usual — including investigators in plainclothes both outside and inside the Fifth Ave. museum.

Mayor Adams and police have said “outside agitators” have been involved in the college demonstrations that have roiled campuses across the city the last two weeks.

There has been debate about whether the students were coaxed into tactics they otherwise might have avoided, such as the recent takeover of Columbia’s Hamilton Hall, which was broken up by the NYPD last Tuesday night.