What to Know
A group of protesters calling for ICE to be abolished brought traffic in midtown Manhattan to a halt Monday evening
The group held banners in the middle of West 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue demanding the camps housing undocumented immigrants be closed
Dozens of participants were arrested after blocking traffic by sitting in the middle of the crosswalk
A group of protesters calling for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to be abolished brought traffic in midtown Manhattan to a halt Monday evening, leading to dozens of arrests.
The group held banners in the middle of West 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue demanding the camps housing undocumented immigrants be closed immediately. The demonstrators stopped traffic during rush hour, with traffic coming down Fifth Avenue completely halted for about 20 blocks coming down from Central Park. Police began diverting traffic at West 47th Street to ease on some of the congestion that had been building. Traffic on West 42nd Street was stopped between Sixth Avenue and Madison Avenue.
The protest, which started around 5:30 p.m. and was not sanctioned by the NYPD, featured people sitting in the middle of the road. At one point a toilet could be seen in the intersection.
Police arrested around 40 participants, according to Jennifer Van Dyck, one of the organizers of the event. Even as the officers began taking people away in handcuffs, many protesters remained sitting and chanting. After about a half hour, some buses stuck on Fifth Avenue were allowed to pass by the intersection as the road cleared slightly.
After the arrests, Van Dyck thanked the NYPD for being respectful and professional as they led the protesters off in handcuffs.
It appeared that the New York chapter of the group Rise and Resist was responsible for organizing the protest. The group, which formed in after the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, says they are “committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties.”
A press release stated that more than 30 people participated in the protest.