If you’re in Midtown, New York City right now and happen to cross the already-chaotic 42nd Street on your way home normally, you’re likely having one hell of a commute home right now.
Via Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America founder Paul Rieckhoff’s TwitPic feed, it’d appear that (what Rieckhoff has identified as) a group of Palestinian protesters have shut down 42nd Street with a protest. Police appear to have just parked as Rickhoff took his photo, and noting the lack of barricades (and the location, and the time of the protest), it doesn’t exactly look like (or sound like) any kind of event with the proper clearance required to take to the streets — or specifically, 42nd Street — in the middle of the homeward-bound rush hour. It’d appear that the protest was supposed to take place much earlier, in front of the Israeli Embassy on 42nd and 2nd (presumably, where the picture in question was taken) as part of a larger series of protests around the world.
The protests look to be in response to the Israeli attack on humanitarian Gaza-bound flotillas yesterday which left 11 dead. The flotillas also had their fair share of American activists on board as well. The United Nations has already condemned the attack, and Israel is now working a PR agenda to handle their spin on the matter.
Update! Rieckhoff writes in: “The noise of the protests drew me to the window (on the 10th floor). It was pretty large, and definitely screwing up traffic. Quite a scene.”