Pro-Palestinian protesters had overrun Grand Central Terminal on Friday in Midtown Manhattan, multiple sources reported.
The demonstration was organized by the anti-Israel organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which stated on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “Thousands are sitting in at Grand Central Station demanding a #CeasefireNOW.” The New York Times, citing a police officer at the scene, reported that there were at least 1,000 demonstrators.
CBS News estimated that they arrived at the terminal at around 6 p.m.
Thousands are sitting in at Grand Central Station demanding a #CeasefireNOW.In just two weeks, more than 7,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis were killed. Right now, Israeli warplanes are flattening entire neighborhoods in Gaza. This is what the US government is supporting. pic.twitter.com/QybGb9j3XV
— Jewish Voice for Peace (@jvplive) October 28, 2023
“No more weapons. No more war. Ceasefire is what we’re calling for,” the protesters chanted at the station. The vast majority of JVP protesters wore black and had shirts that read “not in our name.”
The JVP protest caused issues for the thousands of people who were trying to catch trains home, the Times reported. The New York Post said that the protest forced the station’s temporary closure. Police tried unsuccessfully to block the entrances to the station from the demonstrators. They eventually started arresting demonstrators, with one JVP organizer saying that over 300 arrests were made, the NYT cited them as saying.
The demonstration took place shortly after the IDF announced its plans to expand its ground operations and activity in the Gaza Strip.
Last week, another demonstration by Jewish Voice for Peace demonstrated in a building of the US Congress to urge Biden to push for a ceasefire.
Other protests in New York City
Other protests in New York City saw Jewish students trapped in a library at Cooper Union College as anti-Israel protesters blocked the doors outside. The students were barricaded inside the library for about 40 minutes until police evacuated them via a back exit doorway, according to the non-partisan organization StopAntisemitism.
Another incident at an anti-Israel protest, this time at NYU last Wednesday, saw a student holding up a sign saying “Please keep the world clean” with an illustration of a Star of David inside a trash can. The following day saw several hundred people at the New York Stock Exchange in Downtown Manhattan in protest of the US supplying the IDF with weapons made by American manufacturers.
However, it’s not just Jewish people in Manhattan that have to be cautious, because the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn is expected on Saturday at 3 p.m., during Shabbat, to have what The Algemeiner describes as a “pro-Hamas” rally in a report from last Friday.
The report states that Jews in the area should “be advised to take extra precautions.” Orthodox Jews reportedly make up a quarter of the neighborhood’s population.
However, the NYPD stated that the demonstrations would not occur at any Jewish institutions in the neighborhood, The Algemeiner said, but several other outlets said that demonstrators would march in front of the Brooklyn Museum. This demonstration is organized by the anti-Zionist organization Within Our Lifetimes.