Women Scuffle Over Spray-Paint Protest of Anti-Jihad Ad, Protester Arrested

A protester was arrested after spray-painting one of the controversial anti-jihad ads that have appeared in subway stations

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012  |  Updated 6:47 AM EDT
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Woman Arrested in Anti-Jihad Ad Scuffle

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A protester was arrested Tuesday after she was caught spray-painting one of the controversial anti-jihad ads that have gone up in subways, then tussling with another woman who tried to stop her.

The New York Post recorded the exchange on video, showing 45-year-old Mona Eltahaway spraying over the subway ad, as another woman, Pamela Hall, tried to block the paint as she held on to a mounted camera. 

"Mona, do you think you have the right to do this?" Hall said.

"I do, actually," Eltahaway responded. "I think this is freedom of expression."

"You do not have the right!" Hall said.

"I do, actually, and I'm doing it right now, and you should get out of the way," Eltahaway said. "Do you want paint on yourself?"

The heated exhange continued, with the women pushing each other at times, before police officers arrived and arrested Eltahaway. 

As she was handcuffed, she shouted, "This is a non-violent protest. You see this, America. This is what happens to non-violent protesters in America, in 2012."

Hall identifies herself as a citizen photographer and videographer on her website; Eltahaway is columnist and freelance journalist, according to her website. 

The ads equating Muslim radicals with savages appeared Monday in 10 stations throughout Manhattan, including Grand Central and Times Square. Bought by conservative blogger Pamela Geller, they will be in place for a month.

The ads read, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

Transit officials had sought to block the ads. But a judge ruled the wording was protected under the First Amendment.

The ads had been seen on city buses in San Francisco in recent weeks. Some artists reacted by defacing them and taking out some of the words.

 

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