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Human Rights

Disney actress who vandalized Israeli defense contractor welcomed Cuban communist leader Diaz-Canel during U.N. visit

Former Disney actress and self-described “communist” activist Calla Walsh was arrested with two others on felony charges for allegedly vandalizing an Israeli company’s New Hampshire offices

Activist Calla Walsh and Cuba's appointed president Miguel Diaz-Canel
Activist Calla Walsh and Cuba's appointed president Miguel Diaz-Canel | X: Calla Walsh

November 28, 2023 9:46am

Updated: November 28, 2023 9:55am

Former Disney Channel actress and self-described “communist” activist Calla Walsh was arrested with two others on felony charges for allegedly vandalizing an Israeli company’s New Hampshire offices. 

The felony charges stem from an incident in which Walsh, a native of Cambridge, Massachusetts reportedly vandalized a Merrimack, New Hampshire building along with Bridget Shergalis, of Dayville, Connecticut, and a third demonstrator, all aligned with the anti-Israel group, “Palestine Action U.S.

The group calls itself a “direct action network dismantling Elbit Systems and the Zionist War Machine,” and was issuing online “Action Target Maps” to target Israeli companies as well as instructional manuals on how to weaponize fire extinguishers “to spray a jet of vicious liquid.”

The Merrimack, New Hampshire building targeted by Walsh and her two co-defendants houses Haifa-based defense contractor Elbit Systems. 

Walsh has promoted herself on social media as a “communist,” and to prove her point, on Sept. 21, she posted a photograph of herself in September welcoming Cuban Communist Party leader and appointed president Miguel Diaz-Canel to the United States.

The communist leader came to New York with his wife, Lis Cuesta, to participate in a discussion at the United Nations about “fostering debt sustainability” despite Cuba not being a member of the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.

The tweeted photograph depicts a smiling Walsh wearing a black evening gown and leaning into the communist president who has his arm around her while sporting a charcoal suit, white Oxford shirt and blue tie with a Cuban flag lapel pin.

“An honor to welcome Cuban President @DiazCanelB to the US The first Cuban President born after 1959, President Diaz Canel symbolizes the continuity of revolution, generation to generation. May the youth of today be the last generation that has to live with the cruel US blockade!” Walsh wrote on Sept. 21. 

Supporting communist Cuba has been one of the actresses' top priorities. In a topic based graphic, ADN chartered Walsh's most frequently used words in her tweets up until 2022.

The most frequent word Walsh used was "Cuba" while other leading phrases were "BDS," "Zionist" "NATO" and "war."

Tweet Topic Explorer Calla Walsh - September, 2022 (Neoformix)
Tweet Topic Explorer Calla Walsh - September, 2022 (Neoformix) | Neoformix / Tweet Topic Explorer


Cuban Exile leaders who combat the Castro/Diaz-Canel military dictatorship lashed out at Walsh for being on the wrong side of history.

Marcell Felipe, who serves as president of Inspire America and also as the Chairman of the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora said Walsh was abusing her celebrity to validate human rights violations.

“The combination of ignorance and self-righteousness of some actors allow them to be used as PR tools for people like Miguel Diaz Canel who disguise themselves as political figures as a cover for their torture, killing and trafficking of people, drugs and arms,” Felipe said in a telephone interview with ADN. 

Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat, spokesman for the Cuban Democratic Directorate and Chairman of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistancesaid Walsh’s support for Diaz Canel sends a damaging message that champions evil and promotes historical revisionism.

“Praise and recognition for dictators from a privileged position is the worst sort of violence, the one that facilitates oppression,” Gutiérrez told ADN. “At its core is the left wing arrogance that seeks to impose slogans on reality.”

 Walsh’s post also received critical responses from other X users who chastised her for her revisionist version of Cuban history.

“You got the continuity part right. As for the Cuban Revolution by the way, that one got betrayed soon after toppling the Batista dictatorship by replacing it with another one, a Castro dictatorship that would be much longer and more cruel,” wrote one user named neuvondacuba.

“As for the U.S. embargo against Cuba, using the term blockade is quite sensationalist. The Cuban regime that @DiazCanelB represents likes to use the term to create an alternative reality. It’s a successful strategy applied to so much of what’s actually real for Cubans.”

While Walsh has courted foreign dictators such as Diaz-Canel, she has also endeared herself to the likes of Democratic Party leaders in the U.S.

In a response to pro-Israel activists illuminating a photograph of Walsh with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the self-described communist ex-Disney star ridiculed Zionists.

“Not to expose myself, but the Zionists trying to cancel Elizabeth Warren for being associated with me through a picture I took with her when I was 15 might be the funniest turn this has taken,” she wrote on June 13, 2022.

The photograph depicts Warren wrapping her left arm around Walsh outside in a wooded area as the senator and then 15-year old Disney star both smile. The former Disney’s star’s comments contradict her former comments in a 2020 interview with a Boston magazine in which she boasted about her time working on the Massachusetts senator’s political campaign.

Walsh is the daughter of Mary Sullivan Walsh, a writing instructor at Harvard Extension School and Boston University English professor Chris Walsh. Her Hollywood status coupled with her radical turn as a self-ascribed “communist” has earned her the adulation of liberal news outlets.

Boston Magazine and The New York Times both heralded the then-16-year-old’s participation in Ed Markey’s senate campaign, saying she helped the progressive democrat achieve reelection in 2020. 

She has also been a longstanding critic of Israel and U.S. policy supporting the Jewish homeland, and has even revealed the names and addresses of pro-Israel organizations online as part of the “Mapping Project.”

Such maps have been utilized since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks to help pro-Palestinian activists pinpoint the location of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations.

The map's lines extend outwards to pinpoint and isolate those the project says is responsible for “the colonization of Palestine” and other purported “harms that we see linked, such as policing, U.S. Imperialism and displacement,” according to an online report published by the Anti-Defamation League.

A total of nearly 500 organizations are named. 

“Under the guise of this interactive map, the authors essentially name, shame and blame Jewish communal organizations in Massachusetts for many of the world's problems and specifically calls out Zionism as a ‘harm’ thus implicating the vast majority of the Jewish community that identifies in some way with the state of Israel, the ADL reports.

“This BDS Boston-endorsed Project includes a disturbing and antisemitic call to "dismantle" and “disrupt” most of Boston's Jewish community and concludes with a thinly veiled threat that “every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.” 

On June 3, 2022, Walsh shared a copy of one of the maps on X with her anti-U.S. sentiments.

“From our friends at the Mapping Project! Their map and articles illustrate how local support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing, evictions, and privatization locally, and to US imperialist projects worldwide,” Walsh wrote.

She has also implied violence is the only solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

“Not supporting the Palestinian resistance means asking them to peacefully submit to Israeli colonization. There is no “peaceful solution” under military occupation. One can’t claim to want to see Palestine liberated if one doesn’t support Palestinians’ actually means of liberation,” she wrote on X on April 18, 2022.

Bridget Shergalis, 27, also arrested alongside Walsh appeared in the 2011 Disney comedy series “So Random!” and “Criminal Minds.” She has also appeared in films such as “All About Steve,” and “Bad Teacher.”

Pro-Palestinian protestors were blocked the driveway to the Elbit Systems, according to a report published by NBC Boston

The building was vandalized with red spray paint, and smoke was seen coming from the roof. Once inside, police officers found evidence of other property damage including HVAC equipment and broken skylights.

One of the suspects reportedly had possession of an incendiary device similar to another found on the roof where the smoke was emanating from.

Walsh, Shergalis, and a third activist, Sophie Marika Ross, 22, of Housatonic, Massachusetts, are facing several felony charges for vandalizing the Israeli defense contractor’s offices.

Those charges include attempted burglary, rioting, sabotage, and one count of misdemeanor criminal trespassing for each suspect, according to the local Merrimack, New Hampshire news outlet, Patch

Walsh, who was held on $20,000 bail, complained on X after paying for her release that she is “facing an extreme level of political repression from the state” and declared that “History will absolve us and Palestine will be free.”

Walsh has denied any wrongdoing despite the felonious accusations against her. Her mother chastised the prosecutors’ discretion, calling for the “totally inflated and embellished” charges to be dismissed.

Rabbi Matthew Levin of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County said that the rise in recent antisemitism jeopardizes the commitment the free world has to preventing genocide.

“'Never Again’ has to have real meaning, and if we allow antisemitism and this poisonous false narrative to live on, we will betray our solemn commitment to ensuring the Holocaust and now October 7, never happens again,” Levin told ADN. “That means there is no place in our politics, in our social media, academia or on college campuses.

Executive Editor

Gelet Martínez Fragela

Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who also founded ADN Cuba.