Protesters shut down Los Angeles highway in call for Gaza ceasefire | Los Angeles #Protesters #shut #Los #Angeles #highway #call #Gaza #ceasefire #Los #Angeles

Police in Los Angeles arrested a group of protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza after they shut down a busy stretch of freeway in the city’s downtown.

Dozens of people assembled on the 110 on Wednesday morning, bringing traffic to a standstill during the morning commute for more than an hour. There were tense physical confrontations as commuters attempted to remove people from the road.

The California highway patrol detained 75 people in association with the protest, NBC Los Angeles reported. The demonstration blocked all six southbound lanes of traffic, creating gridlock that stretched for miles.

Some commuters began physically pushing and grappling protesters on the 110 freeway.

Protestors calling for a ceasefire in Gaza shutdown the 110 freeway in Los Angeles during rush hour

— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) December 13, 2023

The US has seen a slew of major protests about the war since the conflict began in October. At least 50 people were arrested in Washington DC on Monday at a protest calling for the US to push for a permanent ceasefire.

In California, hundreds of people assembled outside the office of the US senator Alex Padilla on Tuesday to demand an immediate ceasefire. Last month, a demonstration in Los Angeles shut down a portion of Hollywood Boulevard, while in San Francisco dozens of protesters calling for a ceasefire were arrested after blocking traffic on the Bay Bridge.

Video posted by IfNotNow, the group behind Wednesday’s protest in LA, showed people singing as they linked arms in front of stopped cars while wearing shirts that read “not in our name” and “Jews say ceasefire now”.

Beyond officer sits a row of young protesters in black T-shirts across lanes of traffic.
A law enforcement officer removes a menorah placed on the 110 freeway by protesters, in Los Angeles, California, on 13 December 2023. Photograph: David Swanson/Reuters

“We cannot allow business as usual to continue, as Palestinians are murdered with impunity,” the group said in a statement. “So we have closed the freeway.”

Video captured by journalists on-scene showed drivers trying to remove demonstrators from the road, pulling and dragging them as other protesters intervened. One protester was briefly pinned against a car by a driver.

It appears that a woman has been pushed to the ground, alongside a cardboard sign that says, ‘Every life is sacred.’
Drivers try to remove protesters blocking traffic on the 110 freeway in Los Angeles, California, on 13 December 2023. Photograph: David Swanson/Reuters

The last protester left at about 10.30am, the Los Angeles Times reported, and two lanes reopened. The remainder of the freeway was expected to open at noon.

More than 18,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war began following the 7 October attacks by Hamas, which killed 1,200 Israelis.

#Protesters #shut #Los #Angeles #highway #call #Gaza #ceasefire #Los #Angeles

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