(The Center Square) – Pro-Palestinian supporters in Seattle successfully blocked northbound traffic on Interstate 5.
The protest occurred on Saturday and caused a six-mile traffic backup for about five hours. Videos on social media show hundreds of protestors on the highway, chanting phrases such as “Hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go!”
This includes the recent blockage of Interstate 5, in which protestors posted clips on social media with the caption “#ShutItDown4Palestine.”
Since Israel was attacked by the terrorist group Hamas on Oct. 7, in which over 1,200 Israelis were killed, protesters around the world have joined in the call for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip after the Jewish state struck back in a relentless and ongoing campaign.
Washington State Patrol Director of Communications Chris Loftis told The Center Square in an email that troopers cleared the highway as quickly as they were able to due to the number of people and vehicles involved.
The interstate highway falls under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Patrol. Loftis said that district leadership has the authority and responsibility to make arrests when people break the law and balance that responsibility with ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
“We will take whatever steps and time are needed, including making arrests, to safely get the freeway cleared and hold those engaged in criminal conduct accountable,” Loftis said. “But we do it with a safety focus and in time frame and pace most likely to resolve the matter safely, legally and without further escalating an already tenuous situation.”
Pro-Palestinian rallies have been occurring often in Seattle since the attacks. One notable rally occurred in Tacoma, in which more than 500 protestors went to the Port of Tacoma in an attempt to block the departure of a merchant vessel believed to be carrying weapons and military equipment to the Middle East.
According to data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been over 22,835 Palestinians killed since Israel began counter-attacks in Gaza.
The Center Square reached out to Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s Office for comment on the I-5 protests, but did not receive a response at the time of this publication.