Hundreds of people were arrested in New York City following a series of pro-Palestinian protests across the city that caused major disruptions across key transit routes.
The protests, intended to draw attention to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, led to the temporary closure of the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges, as well as the Holland Tunnel, on Monday morning.
The New York Police Department’s chief of patrol reported 325 arrests.
Instead of issuing standard summonses, most people detained at the protests are expected to face misdemeanor charges.
The protests began around 9:30 a.m., targeting the New Jersey-bound lanes of the Holland Tunnel.
Port Authority police swiftly intervened, arresting 120 protesters and reopening the tunnel at around 10:30 a.m.
Subsequently, normal traffic flow resumed on the Brooklyn Bridge before 11 a.m., followed by the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges before 11:30 a.m. after the disbursement of the protests.
At the Williamsburg Bridge, authorities were required to remove some demonstrators who had attached themselves to the structure physically.
The activists called for an end to Israel’s military actions against Hamas.
The protestors were holding signs that read “lift the siege on Gaza” and “end the occupation” at the various protests on bridges and tunnels across the city.
Since the beginning of the Gaza conflict in October, more than 22,000 individuals have died, and at least 57,000 have been injured, as reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health.
Following the protests, Mayor Eric Adams stated that while protesting is a right, it does not justify obstructing bridges and tunnels.
“The goal is to peacefully protest without causing major disruptions to the city. Some people aren’t just commuting; they’re dealing with real emergencies,” Adams stated.
He expressed concern over the loss of innocent lives in the conflict but reiterated the necessity to dismantle Hamas, labeling them a terrorist organization.
Adams also advocated for the release of all hostages and the pursuit of peaceful solutions to global conflicts, extending his concerns to the situations in Ukraine and parts of Africa.
“There is no place for war and the loss of innocent lives,” he remarked.