Pro-Palestinian protesters brought parts of Philadelphia to a standstill, blocking the Spring Garden Street Bridge and westbound lanes of Interstate 76. Over 200 activists, led by groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, rallied for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators created traffic chaos in Philadelphia, staging protests that disrupted key roadways. More than 200 activists, associated with groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Rabbis for Ceasefire, gathered on the Spring Garden Street Bridge, demanding a halt to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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The demonstration, held during the eighth day of Hanukkah, led to the shutdown of the Spring Garden Street Bridge and blocked westbound lanes on Interstate 76. Chanting “Let Gaza live,” the protesters aimed to draw attention to the ongoing crisis in Gaza. Rabbis for Ceasefire lit the shamash candle on a menorah and sang songs in Hebrew, emphasizing the call for peace.

While a smaller group briefly blocked traffic on the highway below, police intervention resulted in more than 30 protesters being detained. The disruption caused a half-hour closure of westbound traffic on I-76, impacting the afternoon rush hour.

Police Commissioner John Stanford confirmed that 32 individuals were arrested on the expressway. The protest was part of a series of planned actions by Jewish Voice for Peace on bridges and highways across the country.

Rabbi Alissa Wise, lead organizer of Rabbis for Ceasefire, emphasized that, given the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, conventional holiday celebrations were not possible. The demonstration aimed to disrupt the norm and bring attention to the urgent need for a cease-fire.

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Pro-Palestinian groups have organized several dramatic actions during the ongoing conflict, with this demonstration marking the latest effort to raise awareness and push for change. The controversy surrounding the protesters’ stance on a cease-fire reflects the diverse opinions within the Jewish community, with critics emphasizing it as a minority view. The protest ended with the march past the Art Museum around 5:30 p.m.