- Police in New York have confirmed that six people have been arrested after pro-Palestine supporters attempted to shut down Grand Central Station
- The crowd was largely peaceful at Columbus Circle, but a group then moved towards Grand Central station – forcing the station to close
- Masked men were seen trying to kick in the doors of the station, which had been locked to avoid a confrontation: the glass cracked, but did not shatter
Six people have been arrested after a mob of masked pro-Palestinian protestors attempted to storm Grand Central station by kicking in the doors on Friday night.
Four of the six arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, one of them is a young teen and has been charged as a juvenile.
The sixth protestor was injured and taken to New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital to be treated for a minor injury before he was charged, cops said.
Protesters attempted to storm Grand Central station, kicking in the door and cracking the glass but failing to make it into the closed station.
A person with a bull horn chanted ‘we are all Palestinians’, a handful of men tried to smash down the doors. Angry scenes ensued as the police tried to move them away from the station.
Grand Central – which sees 750,000 people pass through every day – was closed on Friday night amid the chaos, and New York Police Department warned people to avoid the area.
Earlier on Friday, the Israeli flag was burnt by the crowd at Columbus Circle, with the activists demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war and condemning ‘Genocide Joe’ for failing to back their calls.
Biden and his team have urged ‘humanitarian pauses’, to allow aid in to Gaza and the evacuation of the severely wounded.
But they have refused to take up growing calls for a ceasefire, arguing that a ceasefire would indicate a permanent cessation of hostilities – impossible, they say, while Hamas remains in power.
Friday’s protest was organized by the group Within Our Lifetime, with the slogan: ‘Flood Manhattan for Gaza’, and they marched with a banner proclaiming: ‘Honor the martyrs of Palestine’.
A Christian Dior store near Columbus Circle was covered with pro-Palestine stickers,
The Hamas terrorist attack of October 7 killed 1,200 Israelis: Israel in response began a bombardment of Gaza that has killed 11,000.
Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, said on Friday that ‘far too many Palestinians have been killed’ in Gaza – the latest sign that the Biden administration is growing increasingly frustrated with Israel’s tactics.
‘Much more needs to be done to protect civilians and to make sure that humanitarian assistance reaches them,’ said Blinken, speaking to the media in New Delhi after a diplomatic tour through Middle Eastern and Asian nations.
‘Far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks.
‘And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them.’
The White House is aware that it is hemorrhaging support among some sectors as a result of their seeming endorsement of Israel’s activities. The Biden administration is walking a fine line between supporting Israel’s government, and urging restraint in their response to the terror attack.
Biden himself publicly told the Israelis, during his visit to Tel Aviv, to learn from the United States’ mistakes after 9/11, and not be blinded by rage.
On Friday, a crowd of several hundred made their anger at the U.S. position known.
There have been no arrests reported as of 6pm EST, but NYPD wrote on X: ‘Protest Activity: Expect traffic delays & emergency personnel near 59th Street and Columbus Circle in Manhattan. Use alternate routes.’