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This Photo of a Female Protester Applying Lipstick Was Taken in Georgia, Not the U.S.

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
4th May 2024
This Photo of a Female Protester Applying Lipstick Was Taken in Georgia, Not the U.S.
The photo predates the recent pro-Palestine protests (X)

The Claim

#Female pro-Palestine protester applying lipstick on the reflection of the police shield, #defending the voice of truth with steadfast resolve.

Emerging story

Amidst the recent wave of protests on U.S. university campuses, social media users and media websites shared a photo allegedly showing a female pro-Palestine demonstrator applying lipstick in front of the Los Angeles police during a demonstration at the University of California, Los Angeles.  

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating photo and found the claim to be misleading.

After conducting a thorough reverse image search, Misbar’s found the photo to be unrelated to the recent pro-Palestine demonstrations in the U.S. 

The Photo Was Shot During Georgia’s Protests

Contrary to social media users’ claim, the photo has nothing to do with the pro-Palestine protests in the U.S. recently. 

The photo instead features a protester challenging police by rubbing lipstick during a protest in Tbilisi, Georgia. The photo was uploaded to reddit.com on April 17.

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A screenshot of the original photo (Reddit.com)

The demonstrations took place in Georgia about a controversial proposed law regarding foreign agents, which has faced criticism for its perceived pro-Russian stance. 

Misbar's team did not find any additional information accompanying the original photo.

Protesters Rally Against Georgia's 'Foreign Agent' Bill

On April 15, thousands of Georgians took to the streets in protest, while lawmakers engaged in physical altercations as members of the ruling party advanced a bill concerning "foreign agents" for debate. The proposed legislation, criticized by both Western and domestic voices as being influenced by Russia, sparked outrage. 

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A screenshot from the Reuters’ article.

Over 5,000 demonstrators gathered outside Georgia's parliament, urging the government to retract the bill, which mandates organizations receiving foreign funding to register as foreign agents or face penalties. Georgian critics denounce the bill as "the Russian law," drawing parallels to Kremlin measures aimed at stifling dissent.

Pro-Palestine Protests Sweep Across U.S. University Campuses

According to CBS News, the police took action early Thursday to remove barricades and dismantle a fortified encampment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

This move came after hundreds of protesters refused to comply with police orders to vacate the area, approximately 24 hours following an attack on the tent encampment by counter-protesters. LAPD Chief Dominic Choi announced on social media that a total of 210 individuals were arrested at UCLA.

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A screenshot of the CBS News’ article.

Officers in riot gear spent hours using loudspeakers to warn of impending arrests if the crowd did not disperse. Hundreds of people had gathered both inside the barricaded tent encampment and outside in solidarity.

The events at UCLA came shortly after New York police forcefully entered a building occupied by anti-war demonstrators at Columbia University on Tuesday night, dispersing a protest that had brought the school to a standstill and resulting in the arrest of over 100 individuals.

Tent encampments established by protesters urging universities to cut ties with Israel or companies supporting the war in Gaza have sprung up on campuses nationwide. The subsequent police crackdowns harkened back to actions taken decades ago against a significantly larger protest movement opposing the Vietnam War.

According to an Associated Press count, there have been at least 38 instances of arrests at campus protests across the U.S. since April 18, with over 1,600 individuals detained at 30 different schools.

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