Hundreds of activists took part in the march, as seen with Palestinian flags and signs carrying anti-Israel slogans, in New York City. The aim of the protest was to condemn the New York Times coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, the protesters accused the newspaper of “inciting genocide” against the Palestinians. The protesters not only criticized the newspaper, but also condemned the staunch support that Washington provides to Israel, with some even heard accusing President Joe Biden of “supporting genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza.
The protest started around 4 pm on Thursday afternoon, and began at the New York Public Library in Midtown, and then proceeded to the New York Times headquarters. Once inside the building, the demonstrators briefly occupied the lobby. The protesters took over the lobby of the New York Times headquarters, claiming that the paper “is an agent of US imperialism” and are reading from newspapers bearing the names of the thousands of Gazans murdered by Israel in the last month. The activists see as the outlet “inciting enthusiasm for war.” The crowd also brought up issues regarding the deaths of journalists in the latest violence, and which went on to list the names of journalists killed, with the parody headline “We killed our colleagues.” Demonstrators also distributed mock versions of the NYT labeled “the New York Crimes,” which said the outlet carried the “blood…on its hands.”
The protesters were seen passing out mock issues of the NYT dubbed “the New York Crimes,” which said the outlet had “blood…on its hands” for “inciting enthusiasm for war.” The mock issues listed the names of journalists killed in the latest bout of violence, with the parody headline “We killed our colleagues.” “We will continue holding the New York Times to account… for inciting genocide!” protesters were heard chanting.
Near the end of the protest, around 6 pm, a NYPD police cruiser was vandalized, with its back window smashed out and slogans scrawled on the vehicle with spray paint, including the words “Free Gaza,” and “KKK.” However, no arrests were reported during the action.
The ongoing conflict in Gaza began when Hamas launched an unexpected attack on Israel, killing 1,400 people. Since then, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have retaliated with a series of airstrikes and escalated a ground assault on Gaza, leaving nearly 11,000 Palestinians dead, including around 4,400 children, according to local officials.
The protest highlighted the extreme emotional response to ongoing conflict and the polarized views regarding the Israel-Hamas war. It also showcased the diverse reactions to media coverage and the increasing use of demonstrations to express concerns about journalistic integrity. The demonstration and occupation of the New York Times headquarters not only addressed the coverage of the war but also voiced accusations of inciting genocide and reflected the sentiments of the activists involved.
The swift organization and scale of the protest emphasize the power of social media in mobilizing groups to express their grievances. It also underscores the importance of journalistic integrity in reporting on such sensitive and polarizing topics, like the Israel-Hamas war. This incident serves as a vivid example of the heightened tensions surrounding international conflicts and the influence of media in shaping public opinion.