Old video passed off as rally held in U.S. amid Israel-Hamas war

By: Rajeswari Parasa
October 13 2023

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Old video passed off as rally held in U.S. amid Israel-Hamas war

Screenshot of claim circulating online (Source: TikTok/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

This video was captured in 2021 and has no connection with the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Claim ID f4ef1855

What is the claim?

Several unverified and dated visuals have been circulating online since Hamas, a Palestinian militant group in Gaza, launched an unprecedented attack against Israel on October 7. Israel declared war in retaliation and carried out airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. The BBC reported that around 2,700 people have died on both sides and thousands have been injured.

Against this backdrop, a post on X (formerly Twitter) shared a video of people participating in a protest march, holding up a Palestinian flag with a caption, “This scene is not from a muslim country, This is Chicago America thousands of people are out on the street to support Palestine (sic).” At the time of writing this article, the video had over 800,000 views and over 700 reposts. Archive links of similar posts can be found here and here.

Screenshot of claim circulating online (Source: TikTok/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video is from 2021.

What are the facts?

A reverse image search on the keyframes from the viral video led us to a Facebook reel uploaded by the page 'AMU Citizens’ on May 17, 2021. The video was shared with the caption, “This was in Chicago !! Massive protest for 🇵🇸 (Palestine), it seems International Media can't see these protests. #PalestineBleeding #FreePalestine #GazaUnderAttack #Palestine.” We also found an X post dated May 17, 2021, that shared the video with the caption, "#Chicago for #Gaza and #Palestine.” This shows the video has been online before the recent Hamas attack. 

Screenshot of the 2021 Facebook post that had shared the video. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

We then looked for news reports and found one by NBC Chicago, published on May 16, 2021, which stated that thousands of demonstrators flocked to downtown Chicago to support Palestine, as there was an ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. The report added that the protests were held against Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza City in May 2021. Hamas reportedly had launched “more than 1,000 rockets were launched toward Israel,” and around 40 Palestinians were killed in retaliatory strikes. 

Another local news outlet, The Chicago Tribune, reported that around a thousand people gathered at the community area called The Loop in Chicago, calling for “an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.”

AP News had also published visuals of this protest, albeit from a different angle, where protesters can be saying ‘Free free Palestine’ slogans, as also heard in the viral video. 

While on October 9, 2023, Palestinian Americans and Jewish Americans staged separate protests over the recent conflict in Chicago, the now-viral video has been online since 2021. 

The verdict

An old video, reportedly from Chicago, is circulating as a recent rally organized in the U.S. to support Palestine. Therefore, we rate this claim as false.

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