Why did SAG-AFTRA cancel Friday’s pickets in L.A. and NYC, citing safety concerns?

SAG-AFTRA has announced the cancellation of all scheduled pickets in Los Angeles and New York City for Friday, due to “potential safety concerns that are unrelated to our ongoing strike.” In a social media post on Thursday, the actors’ union urged its members to stay safe and stated that they would meet on the picket lines next week.

The specific threat to safety remains unclear, but reports suggest that it could be linked to recent calls from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas for their supporters to engage in a day of action on October 13 in support of the terrorist attacks in Israel.

In the past week, Hamas has launched attacks on southern Israel, leading to an escalating conflict and a rising death toll exceeding 2,700 victims on both sides, according to the Associated Press. However, both the New York Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department have released statements confirming that there are currently no “specific or credible threats” to either city. Despite this, both departments have decided to increase patrols as a precautionary measure.

“There are no specific, credible threats to New York City,” read a statement from the NYPD on their official X account. “We are aware of the concerns caused by online postings, and we have increased our uniform deployments at large gatherings and cultural sites to ensure public safety out of an abundance of caution.” NYC Mayor Eric Adams has also directed the police department to provide additional resources to schools and houses of worship to ensure their safety.

The LAPD also reassured the public, stating in a social media statement, “The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of recent statements calling for action in relation to the conflict in the Middle East. While we have no information about any specific or credible threats to the City of Los Angeles, we continue to monitor the situation closely for any potential impact on our communities. We are collaborating with federal, state, and local partners to share information.”

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