Pro-Palestine protesters flood Midtown; shut down Grand Central

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, November 12, 2023
Six arrested at pro-Palestinian protest
Marcus Solis has the latest from Grand Central Terminal.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Pro-Palestinian demonstrators flooded Manhattan for a second night and forced the closure of Grand Central Terminal on Friday, demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

The pro-Palestinian rally started at 5 p.m. Friday at Columbus Circle, with thousands marching through the streets demanding a ceasefire overseas.

Marchers then made their way to the New York Times building, vandalizing the front with a red tint before heading to Grand Central.

They surrounded the building, forcing its closure and disrupting LIRR and Metro-North service.

Police remained on the scene until the early morning hours of Saturday and arrested 6 people for disorderly conduct.

It's the latest in a series of near-nightly demonstrations since the start of the war saw thousands march through Midtown Manhattan to protest Israel's attacks on Gaza.

On Thursday, a small group of demonstrators led by media workers calling themselves "Writers Bloc" entered the atrium of the New York Times building carrying a banner calling for a cease-fire.

They remained for over an hour, reading off the names of thousands of Palestinians killed in Gaza, including at least 36 journalists whose deaths have been confirmed since the war began. They scattered editions of a mock newspaper - "The New York War Crimes" - that charged the media with "complicity in laundering genocide" and called on The Times' editorial board to publicly back a cease-fire.

The gathering came after students from several schools also walked out of class to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Some remained in the streets for a protest that snarled traffic in Manhattan during rush hour and grew unruly at times.

On Tuesday, activists with the group Jewish Voice for Peace briefly took over the Statue of Liberty. The week prior, hundreds of people packed into Grand Central Terminal, shutting down the commuting hub during rush hour while hoisting banners that read "Ceasefire Now."

More than 10,800 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run territory, since the Oct. 7th massacre by Hamas, which took the lives of at least 1,400 people in Israel.

Back in October, over 300 people were arrested after peace activists rallied inside Grand Central Terminal Friday evening calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

The protests also forced the MTA to restrict access to Grand Central.


Some information from the Associated Press

ALSO READ | Community rallies in support of café owner after workers walk out in protest over conflict in Gaza

Lucy Yang has more on a Manhattan community's reaction after cafe workers walked out on the job.


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