Protest over immigration rights stalls George Washington Bridge; drivers outraged
A group of protesters chained themselves together and laid down on the upper level of the George Washington Bridge, causing hours of traffic problems.
Port Authority police say the 10 protesters, seven men and three women, were taken into custody around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The protest was organized by the group Laundry Workers Center and was designed to bring attention to immigration issues in the United States. The group is demanding equal rights for immigrants and other marginalized communities. They were using the hashtag #SomosVisibles or #WeAreVisible and brought out a banner that read "Resist, Organized, Act Up."
"The immigrant community is tired of being in the shadows," said Laundry Workers Center co-director Mahoma López in a statement. "For many years we are here, we contribute, we pay taxes, we build this country, but in the end, we don't have the right to participate in the decisions at the local and national levels."
Some drivers say that while they support the message the protest was attempting to get out, they did not feel that blocking traffic during rush hour was the way to do it.
"You figure there's tension building, which is going to cause more road rage and things happen," said a passenger in one of the vehicles stuck in traffic.
His driver agreed. "It would be unfortunate and it would be a real shame. That's why that's not the way to do it."
Some of the tension between drivers and protesters was caught on video and posted on social media. Some of the people stuck in traffic attempted to pull the protesters' banners down.
Traffic around the George Washington Bridge was backed up into Wednesday afternoon.
The 10 protesters arrested will be questioned by the Port Authority Police Department. It was not immediately clear what charges they may face.
Laundry Workers Center held another rally at in New York's Union Square Thursday evening.