Pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupy New York Times lobby demanding Gaza ceasefire

Widespread protests have started in US since start of Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza following 7 October Hamas attack

Shweta Sharma
Friday 10 November 2023 07:26 GMT
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters arrested in demonstration at US Capitol

A small group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators briefly occupied The New York Times office lobby accusing media of bias towards Israel in coverage of the Israel-Hamas war and calling for a Gaza ceasefire.

Widespread protests have started in the US since the start of Israel’s retaliatory ground invasion of Gaza following the 7 October Hamas attack.

The protesters began their march on Thursday from Midtown Manhattan and brought traffic to a standstill in the area before winding up on the Eighth Avenue toward Times Square, near the newspaper’s office.

The protesters, led by media workers calling themselves the “Writers Bloc”, entered NYT office and occupied the lobby area.

They made their way into the atrium of the NYT building at around 5pm local time, carrying a banner and demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.

The protesters accused the NYT of “complicity in laundering genocide”. They chanted “F*** New York Times” and “Tell the truth”.

Mock editions of the newspaper called “The New York War Crimes” were scattered by protesters.

The names of thousands of Palestinians killed in Gaza in Israel’s retaliatory strikes were also read out. These included at least 36 journalists whose deaths were confirmed since the war began last month.

Protesters said the NYT’s editorial board should publicly back a ceasefire.

They remained in the lobby for more than an hour. Police arrived at the scene and cleared out the protesters at around 6pm. No arrests were immediately made, police said.

Photos on social media showed the word “Lies” graffitied across the doors of the NYT’s headquarters.

“Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for The New York Times,” chanted another person from the group.

A woman uses a microphone at a rally in support of Palestinians in Gaza outside the New York Times building (REUTERS)

Agatha James, a 31-year-old who was part of the protests, said demonstrators came to the NYT building to send a “clear message” to the newspaper, reported the New York Post.

Debates on the Israeli-Hamas war have divided student groups and sparked anger in the US. Instances of anti-Muslim and antisemitic violence have also been reported in the country. Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters have both demonstrated in New York.

An email sent to NYT staffers by the publication’s head of corporate security described the protest as “peaceful,” noting that “no entrances are blocked”, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this week, hundreds of people packed into Grand Central Terminal, shutting down the commuting hub during rush hour. Protesters hoisted banners that read “Ceasefire Now”.

Tensions are escalating in Gaza, where more than 10,800 people have been killed since the 7 October attack in southern Israel that claimed 1,400 lives, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

The Independent has reached out to the NYT for comment over allegations of bias in their coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.

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