Pro-Palestine demonstrators brought parts of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco to a standstill, orchestrating a highly coordinated protest during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ conference.

The protesters strategically abandoned their vehicles on the upper deck of the bridge, symbolically tossing their keys into the bay before chaining themselves to the structure. This act of civil disobedience aimed to draw attention to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, with the demonstrators demanding President Biden’s intervention for an immediate cease-fire and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.

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The protest, reported by the California Highway Patrol, resulted in significant disruptions as more than 200 demonstrators blocked all lanes on the upper deck, causing a traffic jam that lasted for hours. Law enforcement later towed approximately 15 vehicles from the bridge, and around 80 protesters were cited and released.

The coordinated actions on the Bay Bridge were mirrored on the East Coast, where about 100 protesters in Boston disrupted traffic on a bridge connecting the city to Cambridge. Chanting “cease-fire now!” and holding banners with messages like “Jews say: cease-fire now,” the demonstrators urged Senator Elizabeth Warren to do more to halt the hostilities.

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While expressing their grievances against the ongoing conflict, the protests have faced criticism for disrupting vital infrastructure. California Highway Patrol division chief Ezery Beauchamp condemned the Bay Area protest, emphasizing the importance of free speech rights but denouncing the blockade as “100% wrong, unacceptable, and illegal.”

These disruptive demonstrations reflect a growing trend of escalated protests across the U.S., underscoring the heightened tensions and impassioned pleas for peace amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.