Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly blockaded public access roads to airports in California and New York on Wednesday, snarling traffic during the busy holiday travel season and leading to 62 arrests.
Protesters in California dragged traffic cones, scooters and other debris across several lanes of traffic on a road leading to Los Angeles International Airport.
Police arrested 25 people for rioting and one person for battery of a police officer. Police said the protesters had thrown one officer to the ground and accused them of "attacking uninvolved passerbys in their vehicles."
Traffic at the airport was affected for hours, police said. The airport was expected to see some 215,000 passengers on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in Queens, New York, activists calling for an end to the Israel-Hamas war and for more rights for Palestinians linked arms and held banners across the expressway leading to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The incident stalled traffic on the road for about 20 minutes. Video footage shows passengers leaving their vehicles and carrying luggage, proceeding toward the airport on foot.
A spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said 26 people were arrested. The authority sent buses to collect travelers who were affected and deliver them to the airport.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said this week he did not agree with the protest tactics, which have disrupted other public events in the city since war broke out between Israel and Hamas.
“I don’t believe that people should be able to just take over our streets and march in our streets,” he said. “I don’t believe people should be able to take over our bridges. I just don’t believe you can run a city this complex where people can just do whatever they want.”
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