Traffic came to a dead stop on the George Washington Bridge on Wednesday when immigrant rights protesters blocked four inbound lanes. Seven men and three women chained themselves together on the bridge’s upper level around 8:15 a.m. As a result, drivers entering Manhattan were delayed for more than an hour.
Some drivers got out of their cars and confronted the protesters on the bridge. Port Authority police officers responded and arrested all 10 protesters. There were no injuries reported when the arrests were made.
Protesters held a banner that read, “Resist, Organized, Rise up!” There was another banner that read, “#SomosVisible,” which is Spanish for, “We are visible.” The hashtag was used in both English and Spanish by the Laundry Workers Center on Twitter. The organization claims responsibility for organizing the protest. According to the Laundry Workers Center, protest groups consist of immigrants and supporters of immigrant’s rights.
Their website says the organization aims to “combat abuses such as landlord negligence, wage theft, and hazardous and exploitative working conditions, all of which are endemic in low-income communities in New York City and New Jersey.” Co-director Mahoma López said it was the first major act of civil disobedience for the group. He made the following statement on their website:
“The immigrant community is tired of being in the shadows. 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. We demand the right to take part in the decisions in our communities.”
It was reported that all the protesters were released on the following day. The same day of the protest, Laundry Workers Center sent out the following tweet advertising a rally scheduled that evening at Union Square:
— LaundryWorkersCenter (@LWC_workers) October 26, 2016
Featured Image via Twitter/MillionsMarch