Pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the streets in U.S. cities, including New York City and Boston, on Sunday as New Year’s Eve revelers celebrated ringing in the new year.
A large group of protesters gathered at Columbus Circle in New York City before marching down Central Park South and to Fifth Avenue while calling for a ceasefire in the ongoing war in the Middle East between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists, WCBS-TV reported.
Protesters in New York City were seen carrying Palestinian flags and chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The demonstrations came after New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he instructed police to heighten security for New Year’s Eve in Times Square amid near-daily protests in the city.
Pro-Palestinian groups had expressed plans to protest in Times Square against Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip.
At least one demonstrator at the Macy’s in Herald Square set off a bright red smoke bomb and made it around the store before they were escorted out, according to reports.
The group Shut it Down for Palestine appeared to be involved in at least some of the protests in New York City. The protests were part of the group’s demand for “an international call to action” during New Year’s Eve celebrations in support of Palestinians in Gaza.
“We must keep building momentum and increase the pressure with more marches, walk-outs, sit-ins, and other forms of direct action directed at the political offices, businesses, and workplaces that fund, invest, and collaborate with Israeli genocide and occupation,” the group wrote on its website.
Several demonstrators were seen at Columbus Circle in Manhattan chanting pro-Houthi statements.
In Boston, pro-Palestinian protesters participated in chants that included “ceasefire or genocide” and “we demand a ceasefire.” The demonstrators in Boston were seen waving Palestinian flags during the chants.
Many other cities across the country also stepped up security on New Year’s Eve. Some cities, including Chicago and Sacramento, were forced to shut down roadways in response to the demonstrations.