‘Let Gaza live’: Calls for ceasefire fill Grand Central terminal | ET REALITY


Hundreds of protesters calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas arrived at Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan on Friday, in one of the largest protests New York City has seen since the start of the conflict. three weeks ago.

The demonstration, organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, came as Israel stepped up its military operations inside Gaza.

Protesters filled the train station chanting: “Cease fire now” and “Let Gaza live.” Most wore black T-shirts that said “not in our name.” One police officer estimated there were up to 1,000 protesters.

Steve Auerbach, a pediatrician in the city, said he was worried about children caught in the middle of the conflict.

“This has to stop,” he said. “The call for a ceasefire should be considered a generalized normative position.”

Banners were displayed on the railings of the terminal stairs declaring “Palestinians should be free” and “Israelis demand a ceasefire now.”

“I don’t believe in this war,” said Rosalind Petchesky, 81, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace who was later arrested.

Sumaya Awad said she wanted the US government to “follow the guidance and wishes of the majority of Americans.”

“We are here participating in civil disobedience to make it clear that we want the bombs to stop falling,” he said.

The protest disrupted the overnight commute of thousands of people trying to catch the train home on Friday night. Travelers passed by, some stopping and others looking confused. No train delays were reported due to the protest.

Police tried unsuccessfully to block entrances to Grand Central, then stood by and watched as protesters took over the main concourse.

At 7 p.m., when there were still hundreds of protesters at the police station, the police ordered people to leave and began making dozens of arrests. Shortly after, the MTA announced that it would not allow anyone to enter the terminal and designated two entrances as exit-only.

One organizer estimated that 300 people were arrested, but police said they would not release a final count until after midnight.

When the demonstration on the main concourse officially ended, police officers used an elevator to reach two protesters who were standing on a ledge above the ticket offices, in front of the departures board. They carried a sign that said, in capital letters: “Never again for anyone.”

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