300+ arrested after peace activists hold protests in Grand Central calling for cease-fire

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, October 28, 2023
Over 300 taken into custody at Grand Central Terminal
Crystal Cranmore has the latest after Friday night's protest at Grand Central Terminal calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Over 300 people were arrested after peace activists rallied inside Grand Central Terminal Friday evening calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

The protests forced the MTA to restrict access to Grand Central, but it has since reopened for ticketed customers at the 105 East 42nd Street entrance.

The rally began at 6 p.m. inside Grand Central Station with hundreds of protestors populating the terminal. Eventually, thousands of demonstrators spilled onto the streets outside Grand Central.

The rally was open to people of all faiths but was organized by the group 'Jewish Voice for Peace.' Many at the rally were the descendants of Holocaust survivors.

"And we feel compelled to take action that we wish others would have taken for our own ancestors," protestor Jay Saper said.

Tom Negovan has more on a protest that took place at Grand Central calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

The rally called for a Mideast cease-fire through civil disobedience. In an act of civil disobedience, they sat down in Grand Central Terminal, forcing the NYPD to make more than 300 arrests.

Most were charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

"We have an obligation here in the United States to stop our government that's professing and showing unconditional support for this unfolding genocide," said Nadia Ben-Youssef.

There was some star-power in this crowd too, including politicians and celebrities.

"We have to open our hearts and we have to allow this grief to move and shift us into more compassionate human beings," actress Indya Moore said.

Assemblymember Emily Gallagher was also among them.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Gallagher wrote, "I cannot sit idly by while my government supports the collective punishment of civilians."

It comes as the Israeli military said its ground forces would expand their activities in Gaza Friday night.

N.J. Burkett has the latest details in the crisis in the Middle East.

That announcement also came just hours after Israeli forces conducted a second ground raid as many days and after Israel's defense minister said the country expects to launch a long and difficult ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory.

There's growing concern about the toll the ground campaign will take on both sides.

"These thousands of New Yorkers are saying, we don't need to bear witness any longer, we know what is happening in our name, we know what is happening on our dime, we cannot allow for it any longer, we need a cease-fire and we absolutely do not need an additional $14 billion in military aid to the Israeli state," said New York State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.