Six people were arrested Friday evening as hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters marched through Manhattan and disrupted traffic at Grand Central Terminal, police said.
Four of the six protesters arrested were charged with disturbing public order, police said. A fifth protester was a young teenager charged as a minor.
The sixth was injured and taken to New York-Lower Manhattan Presbyterian Hospital to be treated for a minor injury before being charged, police said.
The protesters were demanding a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas so that innocent civilians in Gaza could leave the war zone.
Protesters waved Palestinian flags and held signs reading “End the genocide!” » met at Columbus Circle Friday afternoon before crossing Times Square and finally to Grand Central Terminal, where they blocked access to the huge train hub.
For the most part, protesters were respectful and obeyed the requests of police officers monitoring the demonstration.
At least one police officer was slightly injured during the demonstration, according to initial reports.
On Thursday afternoon, about 100 pro-Palestinian protesters broke away from a much larger demonstration in Midtown and stormed the lobby of the New York Times building on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 41st. west street.
Outside, a protester set off a smoke bomb as 30 others entered the hall. Security let them sing before the group left.
In the building’s lobby, someone spray-painted “blood on your hands,” “boycott,” “liberate Gaza” and “liberate Palestine.”
Protesters vandalized two marked NYPD police cars outside the Times building, scrawling “fk IDF KKK” and “Free Gaza” on both.
No arrests have been made.
In videos posted to social media, protesters demanded a “ceasefire now” and claimed that the Times had adopted a pro-Israel bias in its reporting. The media outlet rejected the accusation.
Protests against the conflict in the Gaza Strip have become an almost daily occurrence in New York, as hate crimes against Jews and Muslims continue to rise.
Since the war began with a series of sneak attacks on Israeli communities near Gaza on October 7, New York police have investigated 82 anti-Semitic incidents, 31 more than the previous year. That’s a 164% jump, cops said.
There were also eight hate crimes against Muslims. This time last year, there were none, cops said.