Protesters shut New York's Grand Central, urging Gaza ceasefire
Thousands of protesters demanding a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas forced officials on Friday to close Grand Central Terminal, one of New York City's major transit hubs, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.
"Grand Central Terminal is closed until further notice due to a protest," the MTA said on its website, urging commuters to use alternate stations and plan for extra travel time.
Images on social media showed protesters pouring out of the train station and onto 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan.
"Mourn the dead, and fight like hell for the living," read one banner raised inside the building.
Thousands are sitting in at Grand Central Station demanding a #CeasefireNOW.— Jewish Voice for Peace (@jvplive) October 28, 2023
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
The demonstration was organized by a group called Jewish Voice for Peace, the New York Times reported.
JVP posted a video on Instagram showing police in the station escorting a long line of protesters, who were wearing shirts reading "Cease Fire Now" and "Not In Our Name" with their arms secured behind their backs.
"HUNDREDS OF JEWS AND ALLIES ARE GETTING ARRESTED IN WHAT IS LIKELY THE BIGGEST MASS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE NYC HAS SEEN IN TWO DECADES," the group wrote in the post.
The advocacy group staged a sit-in at Grand Central as JVP shared another update on X, alongside a video of the protest.
“Right now, Israeli warplanes are flatting entire neighborhoods in Gaza. This is what the US government is supporting,” the organisation wrote on X.
Israel's military widened its air and ground attacks on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Friday. Hamas said the group is ready to confront Israeli attacks with "full force."