NEW YORK (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied the lobby of The New York Times on Thursday, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza while accusing the media of showing a bias toward Israel in its coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.
The latest in a series of near-nightly demonstrations since the start of the war saw thousands march through Midtown Manhattan to protest Israel’s attacks on Gaza. At around 5 p.m., a small group of demonstrators led by media workers calling themselves “Writers Bloc” entered the atrium of the Times building carrying a banner calling for a cease-fire.
They remained for over an hour, reading off the names of thousands of Palestinians killed in Gaza, including at least 36 journalists whose deaths have been confirmed since the war began. They scattered editions of a mock newspaper — “The New York War Crimes” — that charged the media with “complicity in laundering genocide” and called on The Times’ editorial board to publicly back a cease-fire.
Photos showed the word “Lies” painted across the doors of the Times headquarters. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was arrested during the sit-in.
An email sent to New York Times staffers by the publication’s head of corporate security described the protest as “peaceful,” noting that “no entrances are blocked.”
The action came hours after students across New York City walked out of classrooms in support of Palestinians. Some remained in the streets for a protest that snarled traffic in Manhattan during rush hour and grew unruly at times.
The demonstration at The Times was the latest in a series of actions at high-profile locations in New York intended to bring attention to the growing death toll in Gaza.
On Tuesday, activists with the group Jewish Voice for Peace briefly took over the Statue of Liberty. The week prior, hundreds of people packed into Grand Central Terminal, shutting down the commuting hub during rush hour while hoisting banners that read “Ceasefire Now.”
More than 10,800 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run territory, since the Oct. 7th massacre by Hamas, which took the lives of at least 1,400 people in Israel.