Hundreds protest at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza

WHYY News saw several protesters detained by police after demonstrators began blocking entrances to the station.

Hundreds of people gathered in Philadelphia 30th Street Station's main terminal hold a sign that reads Ceasefire!

Roughly 300 people protested inside the main terminal of 30th Street Station on Nov. 2, 2023 demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Hundreds of people participated in a sit-in demonstration at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Thursday, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Roughly 300 people protested inside the main terminal, with even more gathering outside. At around 7:30 p.m., demonstrators began blocking entrances to the station. WHYY News saw several people being detained by police and escorted from the premises not long after.

Police said 68 people were arrested. Each were issued a citation for “defiant trespass” and released.

Many protesters wore black shirts that said “not in our name” and “Jews say ceasefire now,” and carried banners calling for an end to the U.S.-pledged support of the Israeli military.

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The interfaith rally was organized by advocacy organizations Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, and the Philly Palestine Coalition.

Police and city officials say they are monitoring the situation at 30th Street Station. Police set up barricades outside with dozens of officers stationed at the scene.

With the protest beginning during the peak of the evening commute, SEPTA warned of possible delays and asked passengers to use the side entrance at the building’s northwest corner during the demonstration.

Officials in Gaza say the death toll has surpassed 9,000 as Israel continues its military operation following the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas attack that left at least 1,400 Israelis dead.

Editor’s Note: The Associated Press and 6abc contributed to this report. 

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