Pro-Palestine protestors bring Manhattan to standstill, disrupt Grand Central

In a show of solidarity with Palestine, hundreds of protesters descended upon Manhattan, bringing traffic to a standstill and disrupting access to Grand Central Terminal on Friday night. The demonstration, marked by a call for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, saw participants waving Palestinian flags and brandishing signs that read “Free Free Palestine” and “End the genocide.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 10: Hundreds of Palestine supporters march and rally in Columbus Circle in Manhattan on November 10, 2023 in New York City. The group has called for a cease fire in fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza which has now left an estimated 11,000 Gazans dead following the October 7th Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. (Getty Images via AFP)

The protesters initially gathered in Columbus Circle before marching towards the east side of Manhattan, passing through Times Square and eventually converging on Grand Central Terminal. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Metro-North Railroad reported temporary closures at the major transportation hub due to the demonstrations.

Amid the largely peaceful protests, the New York City Police Department confirmed several arrests, though specific details regarding charges and the number of individuals detained remain undisclosed.

The Israel-Hamas conflict, ignited by a series of Hamas attacks near Gaza on October 7, has escalated over the past month, resulting in a significant loss of life. Israel alleges that these attacks claimed approximately 1,200 lives, while the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, with figures from Gaza, asserts that over 11,000 Palestinians have died in subsequent Israeli assaults.

Amin Jaludi, a US-born protester, emphasized the importance of standing up for equal rights. “What happened on October 7th was terrible, but it doesn’t justify killing 10,000-plus Palestinians,” Jaludi stated, expressing concerns about a perceived double standard between Palestinians and Israelis.

Jaludi, along with his children, has no direct ties to the Palestinian territories but passionately advocates for human rights. “I really have no ties to Palestine other than just basic … standing up for human rights, which that is what America is all about,” he explained.

Video footage captured police presence around The New York Times building, where, the night before, protesters had occupied the lobby, resulting in arrests. By 10 p.m. on Friday, the Grand Central Terminal area had mostly cleared of protesters, leaving police officers in place for security reasons. The demonstrations underscore a growing chorus of voices in the US demanding a resolution to the conflict and an end to the violence in the Middle East.

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