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‘Unacceptable’: Virginia Governor Condemns Pro-Palestinian Protest for Blocking Traffic

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin condemned the actions of pro-Palestinian protesters who blocked Interstate 95 in Richmond.

They obstructed a portion of the interstate by taping themselves together, causing significant traffic disruption.

Protesters’ Message

Credits: DepositPhotos – Palestinian protesters and supporters protesting the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel. October 13th 2023, New York City, New York, U S A. Hundreds of mostly Palestinian protesters and supporters descended at Time Square — Photo by thenews2.com

Wearing sweaters with the message “STOP GENOCIDE,” the protesters aimed to draw attention to the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Gov. Youngkin’s Response

Credits: DepositPhotos – Antalya, Turkey – July 24, 2023: Twitter X logo on smartphone and Twitter logo in background — Photo by yalcinsonat1

“It is unacceptable to block interstates, endanger the lives of Virginians, and cause mayhem on our roads,” Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin wrote in a social media post on X.

Swift Police Response

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Virginia State Police were alerted to the blockade around 6:54 a.m., promptly responding to clear the roadway and ensure public safety.

Use of ‘Sleeping Dragon’ Devices

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The protesters used “sleeping dragon” devices made of PVC pipes and chicken wire, along with ladders and a large metal chain to link themselves together, complicating their removal from the interstate.

Unlawful Assembly Declared

Credits: DepositPhotos

By 7:09 a.m., an Unlawful Assembly was declared, with police guiding protesters to the shoulder to begin the process of detaining them and reopening the lanes.

Protesters Taken Into Custody

Credits: DepositPhotos

Initially, three protesters voluntarily surrendered, while specialized teams later safely extricated six more from their devices without incident.

Roadway Cleared

Credit: DepositPhotos

The southbound lanes of Interstate 95 were reopened to traffic shortly after the incident began, with the scene fully cleared by 10:30 a.m.

Collaborative Law Enforcement Effort

Credits: DepositPhotos

Richmond Police, Fire Department, and VDOT assisted in managing scene safety and traffic control and provided advisories to residents during the protest.

Ongoing Conflict in Gaza

Credit: Depositphotos – Palestinians demonstrate on the borders of the Gaza Strip. February 22, 2023, Gaza, Palestine: Palestinian youth set fire to rubber tires on the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip — Photo by thenews2.com

The protest highlighted the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, sparked by a deadly attack on October 7, which resulted in the death of tens of thousands of casualties, predominantly Palestinian civilians.

Global Protests

Credits: Depositphotos – September 13, 2023 – Gaza, Palestine: Palestinians participate in confrontations on the border strip of Gaza City with the occupation, and the confrontations resulted in a number of injuries, including journalists. — Photo by thenews2.com

The mounting civilian death toll from the conflict has led to protests worldwide, calling for an end to the violence and highlighting the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

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