At least two dozen protesters are detained and zip-tied on median after pro-Palestine protest on Philadelphia expressway I-76 during rush hour

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Over 30 people were arrested after they protested for a ceasefire in Gaza on Thursday evening in Philadelphia
  • A group of about 150 people first took to the bridge over I-76 and hung posters before more got out of their cars down below and blocked the expressway
  • Jewish Voice for Peace, Rabbis for Ceasefire and other faith community leaders and allies joined in

At least two dozen pro-Palestine protesters were detained and zip-tied as they blocked a Philadelphia’s I-76 Thursday evening. 

The protesters called for a ceasefire in Gaza as they lined up and blocked traffic on the westbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway in Center City near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Police reported that a group of about 150 people with Jewish Voice for Peace started to gather on the Spring Garden Street Bridge around 3.30pm as they hung banners that said ‘Let Gaza Live’ and ‘Ceasefire Now.’ 

Protestors below the bridge then hopped out of cars and shut down lanes on I-76 as Pennsylvania State Police and and Philadelphia police approached the group. 

Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said that 32 people were arrested and will be cited. 

At least two dozen pro-Palestine protesters were detained and zip-tied as they blocked a Philadelphia’s I-76 Thursday evening

There was heavy traffic on the highway as the protestors hoped out of their cars and blocked the westbound lanes and called for  ceasefire in Gaza

There was heavy traffic on the highway as the protestors hoped out of their cars and blocked the westbound lanes and called for  ceasefire in Gaza 

The Schuylkill Expressway has since opened back up but the Spring Garden Street Bridge above the highway remains closed. 

Rabbis for Ceasefire also joined in on the protest along with other faith community leaders and allies. 

The protestors described themselves as ‘Jewish community members who support freedom and dignity for all people.’ 

Rabbi Alissa Wise, the leader of Rabbis for Ceasefire said that she could not celebrate the eighth and final night of Hanukkah while the Israel-Hamas war goes on. 

‘This is how we celebrate Hanukkah this year. This year means disrupting business as usual,’ Wise tole The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Rabbis on the bridge lit a Shamash candle on a menorah as they led the group in Hebrew songs and called for peace. 

The group can be seen in a line as they blocked off I-76 on the Schuylkill Expressway in Center City on Thursday

The group can be seen in a line as they blocked off I-76 on the Schuylkill Expressway in Center City on Thursday 

Another protest took place on the streets of Washington D.C. on Thursday as they blocked off New York Avenue

Another protest took place on the streets of Washington D.C. on Thursday as they blocked off New York Avenue

The Washington protestors blocked cars on the road

The Washington protestors blocked cars on the road 

In what appears to be an ongoing trend of protests on streets in major cities, another took place in Washington, D.C. as they blocked off New York Avenue.

The group reportedly shut down eight bridges to symbolize the eighth night of Hanukkah, Jewish Voice of Peace reported. 

Protestors raised signs that said ‘Cease fire now’ and ‘Stop the Gaza genocide.’ 

A similar demonstration took place on Wednesday in Los Angeles during the morning rush hour commute and brought traffic to a standstill. 

Dozens of pro-Palestine protestors sat in a line that stretch across the southbound 110 Freeway. 

The protest was organized by a group called IFNOTDOWN, which characterizes itself as ‘a movement of American Jews supporting the end of U.S. support for Israel’s war on Gaza.’ 

The protest started at roughly 9am, with photos and videos capturing demonstrators linking arms in the southbound lanes of the 110 Freeway while chanting: ‘Down down with occupation.’ 

The California Highway Patrol responded to the scene at around 10am and asked people to leave.

More officers were called shortly after the protest was called ‘an unlawful assembly’ by authorities, as they began to tie protesters’ hands with zip-ties.

A busy highway in downtown Los Angeles was shut down during rush hour Wednesday as crowds of protesters demanded a ceasefire in Gaza

A busy highway in downtown Los Angeles was shut down during rush hour Wednesday as crowds of protesters demanded a ceasefire in Gaza 

Cars are gridlocked on the busy I-110 Wednesday as anti-Israel protests brought the rush hour to its knees

Cars are gridlocked on the busy I-110 Wednesday as anti-Israel protests brought the rush hour to its knees 

Demonstrators called for a halt to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, bringing the traffic on Interstate 110 to a standstill on Wednesday morning

Demonstrators called for a halt to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, bringing the traffic on Interstate 110 to a standstill on Wednesday morning

Officers can be heard saying: ‘If you do not leave this area, you will be subject to physical arrest and detention.’

Some demonstrators were taken into custody and placed into CHP cruisers parked on the freeway.

Most protesters were removed by 10.30am and officers opened the three left lanes on the freeway, as reported by NBC Los Angeles.

 CHP later confirmed that a total of 75 people involved in the protest were arrested. 

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