Holiday weekend vandalism leads to needed repairs at SF Union Square

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Monday, December 25, 2023
Weekend vandalism leads to needed repairs at SF Union Square
On Christmas Eve, public works crews were repairing parts of Union Square in the wake of vandalism.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Snow was falling around Union Square, thanks to a snow making machine and kids were loving it. San Francisco was decking the halls and getting festive.

"It's just amazing. The whole atmosphere, it's great. Christmas time, love it," said tourist Varnika Mena.

Public Works crews spent part of their Christmas Eve repairing damage from weekend vandalism. Police say a group of pro-Palestinian protesters took over Union Square Saturday. Police arrested four people, one for felony vandalism after climbing up the Christmas tree, planting flyers and a Palestinian flag.

RELATED: Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters march in downtown SF, calling for end to Israel-Hamas war

"We were staying at the Grand Hyatt. We noticed lights were totally off for the rest of the evening," said Cindy Shieh.

Shieh's family was disappointed to see the vandalism, which disabled the tree lights on Saturday night.

"Hopefully they can demonstrate their feelings in a different way. We support all types of feelings and emotions but damaging city property is not the way to go," Shieh said.

In a statement, the Union Square Alliance told ABC7 News: "The ability to protest is a sacred American right. Sadly, because of the actions of a few, many will be denied the chance to enjoy the beauty of Macy's great tree in Union Square for the remainder of the holiday weekend."

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The Union Square Alliance said repairs to the tree could take days, but by Sunday afternoon, it appeared the lights were working again.

Meantime, the Christmas clock is ticking down, with shoppers in the square looking for deals.

"I just got a deal on a Christian McCaffrey jersey, yes. Online, it's $200 dollars, and I got a good deal on it," said Kamia Langley from San Francisco.

For Christmas Eve in the city, shoppers were hoping to make it merry and bright.

"Merry Christmas. Happy holidays," Langley said.

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