• 19 arrested after protesters cause major Seattle traffic backups

    By: Web Staff

    Updated:

    Dozens of protesters caused miles-long traffic backups Monday afternoon in Seattle, blocking parts of Aurora Avenue North and a Mercer Street on-ramp to Interstate 5. Police say 19 people were arrested in the protest. 

    Follow this link to see photos of the Seattle protests

    Transportation officials advised people to take alternate routes Monday afternoon as dozens of people blocked the northbound lanes of State Route 99 near Seattle Center. Trafficon the northbound and southbound off ramps to Mercer Street was also impacted as protesters marched to that area in the South Lake Union neighborhood.Police moved to clear protesters from the roadways, and by about 4:30 p.m. both State Route 99 and the interstate off ramps were opened to traffic.

    Organizers said they were engaging in "civil disobedience" to protest police violence. 

    KIRO 7 Chopper also flew over the thousands of people marching peacefully Monday afternoon from Garfield High School - through downtown Seattle.

    Protest events by time

    4:28 p.m.: Both directions of Aurora Avenue north of the Battery Street Tunnel are open after protest. 

    4:18 p.m.: All Interstate 5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street are now open.

    4:10 p.m.: Police appear to have the protesters' chains sawed apart.

    https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/557329452976590850

    4:06 p.m.: Seattle police continued to saw chains off protesters blocking the northbound lanes of Aurora Avenue North. Two more vans of police arrived and were putting on gear.  

    https://twitter.com/AlisonKIRO7/status/557328418983792640

    4:05 p.m.: Traffic is a mess in downtown Seattle.

    https://twitter.com/KIRO7Seattle/status/557328942089379840

    3:30 p.m.: Protesters blocking the northbound on-ramp to the Interstate 5 at Mercer Street about 3:30 p.m. One person was arrested after an officer appeared to be knocked off his or her bike.  Meanwhile at Aurora, Seattle Police Department officers were using saws to cut apart protesters chained. Orange tarps were being used to keep sparks away. 

    3:15 p.m.: Chopper 7 showed at least one person was detained at Westlake Avenue North and Republican Street where there were calls to help an officer. Chopper 7 showed an officer who appeared to be injured on the ground. 

    2:50 p.m.: Protesters were sitting with locked arms on Aurora singing, "we're not going to stop until our people are free" and "justice for Mike Brown." Brown was the Ferguson, Mo., teen killed by a police officer. Protests have continued in Seattle since the officer was not indicted by a grand jury on Nov. 24. Aurora is closed to traffic north of the Battery Street tunnel. 

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    The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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