Los Angeles freeway blocked by Jewish protesters against Gaza war

Los Angeles freeway blocked by Jewish protesters against Gaza war


15 December, 2023

In downtown Los Angeles, a significant protest led by the Jewish activist group IfNotNow unfolded on the 110 Freeway. The group, numbering around 75, called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. This demonstration, beginning around 9:30 a.m., led to the closure of all six southbound lanes of one of Los Angeles' busiest freeways, causing a substantial traffic jam that stretched for miles.

The protesters unified in their stance, wore black shirts emblazoned with "Not In Our Name" and set up a 7-foot Hanukkiyah (a nine-branched candelabrum used during Hanukkah) as a symbol of their cause. They also chanted and sang for a ceasefire, underscoring their message with a banner reading "Permanent Cease-fire: Equality, Justice, Safety for All."

The demonstration sparked a range of reactions, including confrontations with motorists, some of whom responded aggressively to the disruption.

Despite the friction, the protest remained largely non-violent. The California Highway Patrol, which had been informed of the protest in advance, began arresting protesters around 10 a.m., and by midday, 75 individuals had been taken into custody for failing to comply with a dispersal order.

The action by IfNotNow was driven by their stance against U.S. support for what they see as Israel’s apartheid system and the ongoing situation in Gaza. The group's efforts reflect a broader sentiment among a significant portion of the American public, as indicated by polls showing majority support for a ceasefire in the region.