This photo shows climate protesters covered in fake blood at a demonstration in New York

A photo has been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook and Weibo alongside a claim that it shows protesters on Wall Street in New York being “beaten madly” by US police. The claim is false; the photo shows climate protesters who doused themselves in fake blood during a demonstration; the demonstration’s organiser said police were not violent when arresting activists. 

The photo was published here in a Facebook post on October 9, 2019. 

It has been shared more than 2,300 times.

The post’s caption, written in traditional Chinese characters, translates to English as: “This was taken this morning on Wall Street, where US police beat and dispersed protesters madly. 

“The US is a hypocritical, fake democracy, please share on various social networking sites and groups to show the world what democracy means in the States.” 

Below is a screenshot of the misleading post:

The photo was taken near the New York Stock Exchange

Climate activists across the world staged die-ins and disrupted traffic on October 7, 2019. It marked the beginning of two weeks of civil disobedience demanding immediate government actions over climate change, AFP reported here on October 8, 2019.

Demonstrators in New York City were seen covered in fake blood during a protest organised by environmental pressure group Extinction Rebellion, as seen in this October 7, 2019, AFP video report. 

The photo was shared thousands of times alongside a similar claim here, here, here and here on Facebook, as well as here on Chinese microblogging site Weibo.

The claim is false; the photo shows climate protesters covered in fake blood in a bid to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change. 

The same people who participated in the die-in can be seen in other news photos from the same event, including here and here, published by German photo agency Imago Images

The title of the photos reads: “New York, Extinction Rebellion Protest”.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading post (L) and the Imago Images photos (C and R) with the same people circled in red: 

Screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading post (L) and the Imago Images photos (C and R)

At least 90 people were arrested during the rally, the New York Times quoted New York Police Department (NYPD) as saying on October 7, 2019. 

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion NYC told AFP via Facebook Messenger on October 10, 2019, no activist was beaten by police: “No, all completely non-violent and peaceful”.