New York

Protesters Block Upper Level of George Washington Bridge

The demonstrators were said to be part of an immigrant rights group; 10 people were arrested and no injuries were reported

What to Know

  • The Laundry Workers Center apparently staged the protest on the bridge from New Jersey to New York
  • Delays on the upper level of the bridge into the city topped 90 minutes
  • The Port Authority said 10 people were arrested; no injuries were reported

The inbound upper level of the George Washington Bridge was closed by an immigrant rights protest on Wednesday morning, snarling traffic on one of the region's most important crossings at the height of rush hour.

Delays at the bridge for traffic heading into New York from New Jersey were up to nearly 90 minutes; traffic cameras showed bumper-to-bumper traffic barely inching along. 

The protesters apparently chained themselves across the roadway to block traffic, unfurling large banners in an attempt to spread their message. One banner appeared to read "Resist, Organized, Act Up!"

Drivers were clashing with the protesters in an effort to get the bridge open, according to witnesses. Police quickly detained the small group and traffic began moving again about 15 minutes.

The Port Authority said 10 people who were blocking the eastbound lanes were arrested. No injuries were reported. The agency said it is investigating. 

Protesters Block Upper Level of George Washington Bridge

The protest organization, Laundry Workers Center — which was using the hashtags #WeAreVisible and #SomosVisible on social media — was already planning a rally in Union Square Park Wednesday night. 

"We are a Grassroots Autonomous Movement campaigning for the right of every member of our communities to be visible, to be able to take part in the decision making process that affect our communities in our 'democratic' system, and for the ability to determine our destinies," the New York-based nonprofit said on its Facebook page. 

Also according to its Facebook page, the group works to improve the living and working conditions of workers in the laundry and food service industries. 

"Our work 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," the page says.

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