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Amid planned protests, Gov. Newsom won't hold public Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony


With multiple protests planned near the state Capitol, Gov. Gavin Newsom has decided to not hold the annual public Christmas tree lighting ceremony there, multiple sources told KCRA 3 on Tuesday.

The ceremony was expected to be held remotely, and Newsom's office is expected to provide a recording. On Monday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol barricaded the majority of the building's west side lawn, where the tree is located. Multiple signs read, "KEEP OUT, NO TRESSPASSING" and warned the area was under 24-hour video surveillance and violators would be arrested and prosecuted. Newsom's office has not yet provided a comment.

The development marks a major shift in plans after multiple sources told KCRA 3 the governor had been planning to host the event on Tuesday featuring a night market with small businesses set up along the Capitol and several musical performances.

The Midtown Business Association posted on Nov. 29 that the tree lighting would be virtual.

"As we continue to see protests across the country impacting the safety of events of all scales, we have decided not to continue with the holiday market as planned on Tuesday, December 5. We will provide updates on our holiday plans and family-friendly festivities at a future date," the update read.

The California Highway Patrol's permit calendar showed the tree lighting ceremony was scheduled for Tuesday evening, but it has been removed as of Tuesday morning.

The announcement comes as the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights said it planned to rally and march to the state Capitol Tuesday night to call for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas. In an advisory to KCRA 3, the group said it wanted to "out Gov. Gavin Newsom for hiding from the public because he doesn't want to face their anger at his shameful stance in regard to the genocide in Gaza."



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