Grand Central Terminal shut down due to pro-Palestinian protests

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protestors packed into Grand Central Terminal during Friday rush hour — partially shutting down the transit hub and leading to more than 100 arrests.

Metro-North service was shut down at the terminal, with the MTA advising customers to use the 125th St. station, instead. east-bound LIRR service was still running at the Grand Central Madison stop, though the entrances were restricted during the tumult.

Thousands of Jewish and Palestinians protesters take over the Grand Central lobby during protest demanding immediate ceasefire of attacks to Gaza by Israeli forces. NYPD made seventh arrests of protesters that refused to clear the traffic areas of the busy station. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)
Thousands of protesters fill the Grand Central Terminal lobby on Friday. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)

Subway service on the 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines was severely disrupted, the MTA stated.

“I missed my train. I don’t understand why they shut the station down. This is nonsense,” said Kane Bonitto, 38, of Brooklyn, who missed his 7 p.m. departure on Metro-North bound for New Haven. “They could have taken it somewhere else. All they want is attention. What about our daily commute?”

Pre-recorded announcements from police warning of impending arrests were at times drowned out by chants during the rally organized by Jewish Voice for Peace.

“There’s a genocide going on right now in front of our eyes,” said protester Peter Kinoy, 75.

Thousands of Jewish and Palestinians protesters take over the Grand Central lobby during protest demanding immediate ceasefire of attacks to Gaza by Israeli forces. NYPD made seventh arrests of protesters that refused to clear the traffic areas of the busy station. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)
More than 100 arrests were seen by the Daily News. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)

“The U.S. should stop sending arms to Israel now,” added Kinoy, who is Jewish.

The Daily News witnessed well over 100 arrests of activists calling on Israel to stop its bombardment of Gaza — the latest in a series of protests since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

After three warnings to disperse, demonstrators were told to put their hands behind their backs. Cops then put them in zip ties and took them to waiting buses.

Thousands of Jewish and Palestinians protesters take over the Grand Central lobby during protest demanding immediate ceasefire of attacks to Gaza by Israeli forces. NYPD made seventh arrests of protesters that refused to clear the traffic areas of the busy station. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)
Thousands of protesters fill the Grand Central Terminal lobby on Friday. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)

They faced charges of criminal trespass.

Police also arrested demonstrators who gathered on the balcony level overlooking the 200,000-square-foot train hall. Some hung banners with the words, “Mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living” from the station departure board.

“It’s disappointing that this group elected to stage a protest that interfered with New Yorkers getting home from work and otherwise going about their business,” MTA Chief Safety and Security Officer Pat Warren said in a statement.

About two hours into the protest, some activists exited the terminal and made for Vanderbilt Ave. to continue the demo. Train service was fully restored by around then, according to the MTA.

Thousands of Jewish and Palestinians protesters take over the Grand Central lobby during protest demanding immediate ceasefire of attacks to Gaza by Israeli forces. NYPD made seventh arrests of protesters that refused to clear the traffic areas of the busy station. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)
Demonstrators are seen hanging a banner on Friday. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News)

Cody Edgley was among those being arrested Friday evening.

“If you care about Jewish safety, if you care about fighting anti-Semitism, then you have to care about Palestine,” he told The News as cops dragged him into custody.

The war in Israel and Gaza has sent ripples all over the world, with protesters taking to the streets of cities both great and small.

The Big Apple has seen a steady drumbeat of demonstrations, with numerous arrests, too.

On Oct. 13, a protest organized by Jewish Voice for Peace over Israel’s plans to invade Gaza drew hundreds of people to the area near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, resulting in 57 arrests, police said.

That day in Manhattan, a mostly peaceful protest of about 2,500 gathered in Midtown to support freedom for Palestine. Police said three people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges there.

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