Thousands of commuters were impacted Tuesday morning by protesters blocking Second Avenue in Seattle calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Protesters linked arms on Second Avenue and blocked morning commuters at Union Street. The protest started about 7:30 a.m. and the street was reopened to one lane of traffic about 9:10 a.m.
Six men and three women were arrested, police said.
During the protest, Metro buses were backed up more than a mile to Denny Way. Protesters locked their arms with taped bindings. Police started using clipper to try and cut through the duct-taped bindings.
Seattle police said on Twitter that “all protestors who refused to vacate 2nd Avenue when lawfully ordered to do so have been placed under arrest,” but did not immediately give a specific number.
Group livestreamed protest on Facebook
The group protesting identified themselves as Northwest Detention Center Resistance and Mijente, and wrote on Facebook they were “locking down outside of 1000 2nd Avenue in downtown Seattle, Washington, calling attention to the building’s role as Washington State’s deportation epicenter.”
The group, which did not block the bike lane, chanted “F*** ICE” as buses cars lined up for blocks. The group’s Facebook post invited people to join them, and included their own livestream of the protest.
A bus commuter who was unable to get to work for more than an hour and a half told KIRO 7 the protesters came out of three vehicles before blocking the street.
History of street-blocking protests in Seattle this year
This is the second time in less than a month that protesters cause a long backup on Second Avenue.
The morning of May 7, protesters blocked Second Avenue and stayed until the street reopened at 3:11 p.m. that afternoon. See details from that protest here.
Protesters against a new youth jail blocked downtown Seattle streets on March 2 causing massive traffic congestion. Seattle police did not arrest any of the roughly two dozen protesters.
Multiple Seattle streets also were blocked for permitted and un-permitted protests on May 1.
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