Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked a number of locations across New York City, leading to a significant clash with counterprotesters. The action came as Israel reported further gains in its war against the terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The demonstration took place Monday, including targeted action at Grand Central Terminal, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Penn Station. Hundreds of protesters shouted slogans, including using bullhorns.
The protest was organized by the group Within Our Lifetime. The organization called for a “global strike for Gaza & all of Palestine” on social media.
The protests even included a confrontation between actor Alec Baldwin and the demonstrators.
Protesters shouted at the actor as he walked by the demonstration. Baldwin was asked whether or not he opposed Israel, to which he said he supported “peace for Gaza.”
The dispute continued, with one protester telling the actor that his career was “tanking.” Another person mentioned Baldwin’s accidental shooting of a staff member during the filming of the movie “Rust.”
Local media later reported that Baldwin did not intend to be part of the protest, but was walking by that night.
The protesters displayed a number of banners, including one calling for “revolution.” Another pro-LGBT banner was held by some protesters. The demonstrators waved a significant number of Palestinian flags during the event.
Protesters were able to block entry into locations such as Grand Central Terminal after breaching barricades put up by police. One protester called for a means to “outrun these piggies,” referring to the New York Police Department (NYPD).
There were protests at both Grand Central and Penn Station tonight, and NYPD appears to have been passive or MIA at both. 2001 New York wouldn’t understand 2023 New York. https://t.co/g3mPqhTkFq
— Melissa Braunstein (@slowhoneybee) December 19, 2023
The protesters invoked a number of chants, including one calling for an “intifada.” This likely refers to two periods of armed struggle by Palestinians against Israel. Another called for Israel to “go to hell.”
The most recent protests have been part of a string of similar demonstrations since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack which killed more than 1,200 people. In particular, there have been major protests in New York’s boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
An earlier protest included defacing one of the buildings of the New York Public Library and the burning of an Israeli flag.