Pro-Palestine Protests Bring Cities to a Halt

( – As the weather begins to warm up, so does protest season, and this spring has brought a new wave of demonstrations across the country related to the Israeli-Hamas war. Most of those demonstrations were pro-Palestinian protests calling for a ceasefire, and some protesters blocked major roadways in New York, California, Illinois, and other areas.

On Monday, April 15th, widespread protests erupted calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Protesters shut down roadways and bridges, disrupting travel to and from some of the busiest airports in the country.

In New York, demonstrators took over the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped Manhattan-bound traffic. In San Francisco, they stormed the Golden Gate Bridge, while others in Oakland took over Interstate 880 by chaining themselves to a giant 55-gallon drum full of cement. Protesters in Eugene, Oregon, flooded Interstate 5 and shut down traffic for almost an hour on the major highway.

In Chicago, a group of demonstrators locked arms and stopped traffic in multiple lanes on Interstate 190 around 7 AM, interrupting commuters and travelers in and out of O’Hare International Airport. One of the organizers called the acts of civil disobedience an international “economic blockade.” They chose this area knowing that O’Hare is one of the biggest airports in the country.

Chicago has seen almost daily demonstrations over the last few months ever since the Oct. 7th attack on Israel by Hamas that sparked an ongoing military campaign by the Jewish state in the Palestinian territories.

Dozens were arrested in Chicago for obstructing traffic, but police did not give an exact number. At least 20 were attested in San Francisco, California. Over 50 were arrested in Eugene, Oregon, where police towed six vehicles. Numerous protesters were arrested in New York City during a march of 150 to 200, who shut down the Brooklyn Bridge until around 5 PM.

The conflict in Israel and Gaza has become one of the most polarizing in the US leading into the 2024 presidential election. President Joe Biden’s milquetoast stance seems to be bleeding him votes from his Democratic base, who tend to be pro-Palestinian, while Trump has remained firmly pro-Israel. Even though most Republicans lean toward Israel, they are also divided on the issue and some are calling for a more isolationist position.

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