Apr 15, 2024 - News

Gaza protests ramp up disruption in Chicago and nationwide

Protesters carrying Palestinian flags in front of City Hall with cars in the street.

Crowds of thousands with the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine march through downtown streets to demand a ceasefire and calling U.S. to stop aiding to Israel on Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu via Getty Images

Protests over the war in Gaza have ramped up this week in Chicago and around the country.

Why it matters: Demonstrations are becoming more disruptive as calls for a ceasefire prompt no official action.

Driving the news: Protesters blocked traffic near O'Hare Airport on Monday — part of a global "economic blockade to free Palestine."

  • O'Hare travelers were either turned away or had to walk I-190 to make their flights. Chicago police say 40 protesters were arrested. Charges are pending, as of Monday afternoon.
  • The Chicago protest also included calls for students to skip school.

The big picture: Disruptive protests have popped up all over the country in recent months.

In San Francisco, protesters blocked the Golden Gate Bridge during Monday's early morning commute hours and another major highway, I-880, in the East Bay.

  • The traffic delays come months after protestors blocked all lanes on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge calling for a Gaza ceasefire in November.

In Philadelphia, dozens of protesters were arrested Monday as they blocked traffic downtown as part of coordinated demonstrations over the war in Gaza, per the Inquirer.

In Tampa, Florida, around 50 protesters blocked traffic from the highway into downtown for about 15 minutes.

In Michigan, protesters took over a Starbucks in Ann Arbor on Monday.

  • Last November, protestors blocked I-94, a major highway in Dearborn, where the "uncommitted" effort defeated President Biden in the Democratic Primary this year.

And in Cleveland, a caravan of protesters blocked multiple highway ramps leading to Hopkins International Airport on a Saturday in March.

  • Activists appeared at Cleveland City Hall weekly from October through March, pressuring the City Council to sign a ceasefire resolution.

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