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How pro-Palestinian protestors brought traffic to a screeching halt across the US

Protestors brought traffic to a standstill in New York, Chicago, and other major cities while demanding an end to Israel's war on Gaza
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators stopped traffic on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, on 15 April 2024 (Screengrab/X)

Pro-Palestinians protestors wreaked havoc on commuters on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge on Monday, as demonstrators fanned out across the US to demand a ceasefire in Gaza.

Footage of the bridge on Monday morning showed traffic stationary in one direction, while lanes going in the other direction were empty as police were present.

The protest was part of a wider movement across the US organised by the group, A15 Action, which sought to demonstrate “solidarity with Palestine” through a multi-city blockade that imposed “pain to the economy”.

"In each city, we will identify and blockade major choke points in the economy, focusing on points of production and circulation with the aim of causing the most economic impact," the group said on its website.

In Connecticut, protestors blocked access to an aerospace manufacturer, and in Oregon, they temporarily shut down a highway.

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In New York, traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge was temporarily halted, and in Chicago, the highway leading to O'Hare International Airport was shut down. Social media footage showed some passengers making their way to the airport on foot to catch their flights.

Protests were also planned in Canada, Italy, South Korea, Colombia and Belgium, while the X account for A15 posted photos of demonstrations in Greece, Spain and Australia.

Demonstrators who were blocking traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge held a banner reading, "Stop the world for Gaza." 

“There is a sense in the streets in this recent and unprecedented movement for Palestine that escalation has become necessary: there is a need to shift from symbolic actions to those that cause pain to the economy,” the organisers said.

The protests come as the war in Gaza risks erupting into a full-blown regional conflict. On Saturday, Iran launched a historic missile and drone attack on Israel in response to a strike on its consulate in Damascus, Syria, which killed several senior Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders.

Palestinian Protests
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a 'Strike for Gaza' protest calling for a permanent ceasefire in the war in Gaza, on 15 April 2024 in Los Angeles, California (AFP)

NYC Protests
Pro-Palestinian protesters outside of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, on 15 April 2024 (AFP)

Protests Gaza
Protestors in Los Angeles, California, in support of Palestine, on 15 April 2024 (AFP)

While the US cobbled together a coalition of allies to defend Israel, Iran’s attack comes as ties between the Biden administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government deteriorate.

Israel launched a devastating offensive on Gaza after the Hamas-led 7 October attacks on southern Israel killed around 1,200 and saw over 200 taken back to Gaza as hostages.

At least 33,797 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed as a result of Israel’s offensive.

Biden is under pressure to rein in US support for Israel, including billions of dollars of arms transfers, ahead of the November 2024 US presidential elections.

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