Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked traffic in Manhattan and restricted people’s access to Grand Central Terminal as they demonstrated in New York Friday evening, demanding in part a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.
Protesters, some waving Palestinian flags and holding signs with messages such as “Free and Free Palestine” and “End Genocide,” gathered at Columbus Circle in the afternoon before marching east from Manhattan, to the area around Times Square and finally to Grand Central.
The protests temporarily closed access to the terminal, one of the city’s largest transportation hubs, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Metro-North Railroad. said online Friday evening.
Six people were arrested for disorderly conduct during mostly peaceful protests, according to a New York Police Department spokesperson.
The spokesperson said the New York Police Department did not know whether those arrested had been summoned and released. The New York Police Department estimates that about 2,000 people attended the protests.
The war between Israel and Hamas began last month after Hamas launched a series of attacks on Israeli communities and gatherings near Gaza on October 7 – attacks that Israel says killed around 1,200 people. More than 11,000 Palestinians have died in subsequent Israeli attacks in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah, based on figures from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Amin Jaludi was one of the protesters who took to the streets on Friday – it was the second straight day of protesters in Manhattan calling for an end to attacks on Gaza.
“It is important for us to stand up for equal rights for all humans, and right now we see that there are double standards between Palestinians and Israelis,” Jaludi told CNN. “What happened on October 7 is terrible, but it does not justify the killing of more than 10,000 Palestinians. »
Jaludi and his children were born in the United States and have no direct ties to the Palestinian territories, he said.
“I really have no connection to Palestine other than the basic one… standing up for human rights, which is what America is all about,” he said.
The video also shows police holding protesters away from the New York Times building on Friday. The previous night, several protesters had occupied the building’s lobby and some of them were arrested Thursday evening, police said.
By 10 p.m. Friday, many protesters had left the Grand Central Terminal area while police officers remained for security reasons.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Zenebou Sylla, Matt Friedman and Skylar Harris contributed to this report.
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