LOS ANGELES, CA – A wave of pro-Palestinian protests swept across major U.S. airports on Wednesday, leading to multiple arrests and significant travel disruptions. In both New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, demonstrators blocked key freeways, causing traffic standstills and forcing some travelers to abandon their vehicles to reach their flights on foot.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was alerted to the protest activity within JFK around 11:30 a.m. and managed to reopen the blocked freeway within 20 minutes, following the arrest of 26 individuals. The authority also provided two airport buses to transport stranded travelers to their respective terminals.
Demonstrators were seen holding banners critical of Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip, with some signs reading “Free Palestine” and “Divest From Genocide.”
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, pro-Palestinian protesters caused a similar disruption outside the entrance to LAX. The Los Angeles police responded, and as officers moved in, some protesters attempted to block the roadway with cement blocks and other objects. The ensuing chaos led to several arrests.
In both instances, some travelers, determined not to miss their flights, chose to walk to the airport. By 10:10 a.m., 15 people had been detained in Los Angeles, according to authorities.