MYNORTHWEST NEWS

46 arrested after pro-Palestinian protest shut down SEA Airport road for hours

Apr 15, 2024, 3:20 PM | Updated: Apr 16, 2024, 5:07 pm

Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered across the nation Monday, including in the Seattle area, blocking landmarks and highways to bring attention to the war in the Middle East.

The expressway to the Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) Airport was blocked by protesters for several hours. Subsequently, 46 people have been arrested, according to spokesperson for the Port of Seattle Perry Cooper. Of those arrested, 30 were booked into the South Correction Entity (SCORE) and 16 were booked into the King County Jail.

All 46 have been charged with failure to disperse and the majority were also charged with disorderly conduct, according to Kyle Moore with the City of SeaTac.

“They’ll be facing one of two charges, or both charges, and that includes failure to disperse. All 46 will be facing that charge,” explained Moore.

However, Cooper said, more people may be arrested as an investigation continues.

Fortunately for travelers, the road is back open and traffic is flowing through. However, many flyers had to leave their cars, luggage in hand, and walk to the airport. Because of the traffic buildup, Cooper said the SEA Airport garage is offering free 30-minute parking for picking up/dropping off.

Around two hours ago, tow trucks arrived at the scene and cleared the area.

Cooper said the protesters used a common tactic.

“They actually put their arms through a PVC pipe and typically they are handcuffed inside the pipe,” he explained.

Cooper said the airport then brought out teams to remove the protesters.

Image: A tow truck removes one of the cars blocking the expressway leading to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday, April 15, 2024. A pro-Palestinian protest closed the road to the airport.

A tow truck removes one of the cars blocking the expressway leading to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday, April 15, 2024. A pro-Palestinian protest closed the road to the airport. (Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

“Travelers coming to the airport are urged to use alternate routes or take Light Rail and public transit. We will post updates as they’re available,” the airport stated on its X account.

Also, Alaska Airlines is working to make sure travelers make their flights.

“We are currently communicating with our guests who have flights from SEA this evening about possible short-term delays with their flights,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement to KIRO Newsradio.

However, SEA Airport isn’t the only place in the area seeing protests.

At the University of Washington, KIRO Newsradio followed a demonstration outside the link light rail station. Sound Transit said it did not affect train service.

Video: Protests against the Israel-Hamas war in downtown Seattle

Photo: At the University of Washington, KIRO Newsradio is following a pro-Palestinian demonstration outside the link light rail station.

At the University of Washington, KIRO Newsradio is following a pro-Palestinian demonstration outside the link light rail station. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

Other pro-Palestinian protests across the U.S.

In San Francisco, protesters blocked the Golden Gate Bridge and stalled drivers on Interstate 880 in Oakland Monday morning, reported CBS News. The bridge is now open, but CBS said it caused a gridlock for several hours.

According to The Associated Press (AP), several protesters were arrested following the blockade.

Security Analyst Jeff Harp told CBS’s Bay Area TV station he was stuck in the backup. He said the protest was non-violent but people could have been harmed if first responders weren’t able to get through.

“There’s no line of communication. It’s their way or the highway. And now suddenly you’ve got people sitting on the Golden Gate Bridge, unwilling to move, maybe throwing their keys over the bridge, and now what do you do? So it’s not a violent situation but it certainly is a situation where law enforcement has to exercise extreme patience and judgment,” Harp said.

In Chicago, pro-Palestinian protesters blocked a freeway leading to three Chicago O’Hare International Airport terminals Monday morning, reported The AP.

The AP said protestors linked arms around 7 a.m. and said they were part of an “economic blockade to free Palestine.”

O’Hare warned travelers to take alternate routes and drivers were delayed because of the protests. The AP reported traffic resumed around 9 a.m. as Chicago police arrested dozens of protestors.

Rantz: Seattle teacher recorded defending Hamas rape and murder, pushed BDS on students

According to the Gaza health ministry, the Israeli offensive has killed over 33,700 Palestinians. According to NPR, Israel reported around 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas attack on October 7.

Recently, Iran launched over 300 missiles directed toward Israel, of which 99% were intercepted, reported The AP. The attack came after an Israeli strike killed two Iranian generals.

On Monday, Israel’s military chief said his country would respond to Iran’s attack but urged Israel not to retaliate to avoid more violence in the Middle East.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

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