New York City’s Grand Central Terminal closed after demonstrations calling for a cease-fire in Gaza by the group Jewish Voice for Peace.
Over 200 people were arrested after peace activists rallied inside Grand Central Terminal Friday evening calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.
The protests forced the MTA to restrict access to Grand Central, but it has since reopened for ticketed customers at the 105 East 42nd Street entrance for the rest of the night.
The rally began at 6 p.m. inside Grand Central Station with hundreds of protestors populating the terminal. Eventually, thousands of demonstrators spilled onto the streets outside Grand Central.
The rally was open to people of all faiths but was organized by the group 'Jewish Voice for Peace.' Many at the rally were the descendants of Holocaust survivors.
"And we feel compelled to take action that we wish others would have taken for our own ancestors," protestor Jay Saper said.
The rally called for a Mideast cease-fire through civil disobedience. They sat down in Grand Central Terminal, forcing the NYPD to make arrests.
Charges will mostly be disorderly conduct and possibly obstructing government administration.
"We have an obligation here in the United States to stop our government that's professing and showing unconditional support for this unfolding genocide," said Nadia Ben-Youssef.
There was some star-power in this crowd too, including politicians and celebrities.
"We have to open our hearts and we have to allow this grief to move and shift us into more compassionate human beings," actress Indya Moore said.
It comes as the Israeli military said its ground forces would expand their activities in Gaza Friday night.
That announcement also came just hours after Israeli forces conducted a second ground raid as many days and after Israel's defense minister said the country expects to launch a long and difficult ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory.
There's growing concern about the toll the ground campaign will take on both sides.
"These thousands of New Yorkers are saying, we don't need to bear witness any longer, we know what is happening in our name, we know what is happening on our dime, we cannot allow for it any longer, we need a cease-fire and we absolutely do not need an additional $14 billion in military aid to the Israeli state," said New York State Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani said.
( Source: ABC 7NY Eyewitness News )