15 protesters arrested, blocked traffic on Newburgh-Beacon Bridge during Monday rush hour

Protesters said they held the rush hour protest because previous, less disruptive efforts to talk to the area's representatives in Washington about a ceasefire have been unsuccessful.

News 12 Staff

Apr 15, 2024, 4:35 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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Fifteen protesters were arrested Monday morning for blocking westbound traffic on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge during the morning rush hour.
Beginning just after 8 a.m., protesters from the group, Hudson Valley For A Free Palestine, sat in a line across all three lanes and shouted chants in favor of a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Many commuters heading west on I-84 in Dutchess County hit standstill traffic as far east as Fishkill, making them up to an hour late for work.
"This is awful," Sue Aboshanab, of Dutchess County, said as she pulled off at the Beacon exit. "I've been sitting here for 45 minutes just trying to get to this exit."
The demonstrators previously crashed other political events, including one by Rep. Pat Ryan, one of the group's targets.
Protesters said they held the rush hour protest because previous, less disruptive efforts to talk to the area's representatives in Washington about a ceasefire have been unsuccessful.
"I'm forced to be in the street right now," protest organizer Abdallah Qotate said in a Zoom interview following the protest and his arrest. "People on both sides are dying everyday. They are humans. They have families. They have some people they love, and this is not acceptable."
Many drivers – even those who share the protesters' views – had gripes, other than just being late for work. They were especially concerned about bridge access for emergency services vehicles, as even the shoulders were blocked with lines of cars.
Many drivers - even those who support a ceasefire - say this wasn't a place to protest.
"I would love a ceasefire as well," Erika Feingold, a visitor from Massachusetts said, "but as a traveler, I'm very frustrated that this is how they're choosing to ask for it."
The 15 protesters were each charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
They were released from police custody after their arrests with court appearance tickets.


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