NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Protesters chained themselves together across the George Washington Bridge, disrupting traffic during the height of the morning rush hour Wednesday – and their actions have raised concerns about security.

As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, the protesters managed to shut down a major artery into Manhattan as they protested immigrant rights.

The inbound upper level was closed for only 15 minutes, but the damage was done.

PHOTOS: Protest Shuts Down George Washington Bridge

Delays into New York at one point reached 90 minutes.

Protesters with an immigrant rights group held up a banner reading “Resist, Organized, Rise Up!” and blocked traffic heading into New York City around 8 a.m.

Video on social media showed angry drivers screaming at protesters to get off the bridge and truckers honking their horns, as police took demonstrators into custody.

“Get the f**k out of the road, are you f***ing kidding me?” one man is seen yelling at the protesters.

“Get the hell out of here, you want to go protest, protest on your own time,” another man said.

The group, We Are Visible, chose the bridge to protest voting rights for documented and undocumented immigrants because of the significance of its namesake, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported.

“Just basically to tell the system we’re not going to be in the shadows anymore,” protester Mahoma Lopez said. “We are here and we contribute to the community, we pay taxes, and we consume… The majority of immigrant people, we don’t have the right to vote.”

Lopez said the social disruption was a small price to pay, but thousands of tax-paying drivers disagreed as they waited for the act of civil disobedience to come to a close.

One by one police arrested 10 people — seven men and three women — on reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing charges. Most were from New York, but one was from New Jersey and another from California.

They were handcuffed and lying in the middle of the bridge as drivers waited up to an hour and a half to get through.

Wednesday’s demonstration highlighted a weak spot on the country’s busiest road, which spans the Hudson River and connects New Jersey and New York City.

“They jumped over and basically blocked the traffic,” Lopez said.

Experts said the demonstration may have exposed a major security flaw. Moore reported seeing bike lanes, walking paths and neighborhood side streets just feet away from oncoming highway traffic with no barriers preventing people from walking straight onto the bridge.

“Today, it’s a simple demonstration that caused heavy duty traffic for a couple of hours,” former FBI agent and security expert Manny Gomez told CBS2’s Carrasco. “Tomorrow, it could be a potential terrorist act.”

Gomez told CBS2 the incident should be a wakeup call for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and changes need to be considered.

“More police presence, marked vehicles, better cameras, better camera monitoring and ultimately overall more vigilance,” he said.

The security issues called into question if access should still be allowed on the path along the bridge.

“Nobody should be able to walk across that bridge, I think. It’s just a whole bunch of problems,” said George Washington Bridge driver Jim Bateman. “Once they get on the bridge, you can’t stop anybody from doing what they want.”

But Gomez said closing the bridge to pedestrians might not be realistic.

“I would think it would take a major event for them to eventually cut that down, because a lot of people do enjoy it and use it on a daily basis,” Gomez said.

The Port Authority would not go on camera to address the security concerns, and only told CBS2 safety is its top priority.

Comments (166)
  1. unbeleevabal says:

    This action seems so dumb as to be staged for the benefit of trump…

    1. Sean Connor says:

      Guess you havent watched Project Veritas yet.

  2. Welcome to your borderless future. You do speak Spanish, si?

    1. I WANT EVERY MOTORIST THAT WAS STUCK IN TRAFFIC TO PROTEST THESE ILLEGALS AND VOTE FOR TRUMP AND SPREAD THE WORD.

  3. New York: Keep voting liberal. That is why they are here and have no regards for your rights.

  4. RT Mtn says:

    Throw them off the GW bridge. They will float back to Mexico and Central America. Before the Grand Mufti, Obama was in office, I remember these people tried to stay invisible. They did not dare protest. Now they insult us and call us racist while taking jobs, food stamps, Medicaid, public housing and talk about how great the 3rd world toilet they came from is.

  5. John Gray says:

    Let us backwards Americans be enlightened, and provide non-citizens the same rights Mexico does. For starters, you cross the border and get involved in any Mexican political process–not to mention disrupt society–off 2 jail u go.

  6. billy toms says:

    everybody im begging you, show up nov 8 and get rid of this trash

  7. noseitall says:

    You can’t vote for a Democrat, and then complain about illegals. That doesn’t make sense.

  8. John Campbell says:

    So now these people are demanding “rights”? By what right do you have to demand anything in a nation you are in illegally? You have no rights here and will not demand squat from ME!

    DEPORT NOW!

  9. kathy says:

    Run their azzes overm they don’t anyways..no LOSS

  10. Joe Bloom says:

    Run them OVER !!!!

  11. RS says:

    All you people stuck in traffic, Hillary is going to raise your taxes so those people blocking traffic can get even more free stuff.
    Have you had enough of the Democrats yet??

  12. Deserttrek says:

    toss them over the side and move on

  13. Hugh Jazz says:

    I would have floored it and just thought I was going over some speed bumps…. downside? Maybe needing to have the SUV washed and bull bar scrubbed….

  14. noseitall says:

    God help me, but I love seeing liberals get EXACTLY what they voted for.

  15. Yeah, come out of the shadows so we know who to deport.

  16. the Massers says:

    get three or four truckers pick them and move them-if they wish to impede my right to work we can tangle,they will be sorry

  17. docfarmer says:

    Run them down.

  18. Raleigh Wood says:

    Support for Donald Trump just went up……………………..again.

  19. Perry Mileo says:

    “I Dream of Open Boarders” : Hillary Rotten Clinton.

  20. Better Red than Blue in 2016 says:

    Love how they call the New Yorkers helping the Police clear the road vigilantes. Wake up New York this is how the left works and it’s going to get a lot worse under Clinton with open borders.

  21. William says:

    Welcome to Marxism.
    Look at South America. Now, its been proven the Dems actually PAID these people to beat Trump supporters-paid foreign Marxist to beat Citizens in our own streets.
    Something needs to happen…and it needs to happen at the Citizen level because DC is not our for us or for the USA.

  22. brettster says:

    there you go liberal New York! I hope it happens often to you!!

  23. Joe says:

    This is an example of the LAWLESSNESS that the current Obame-Clinton Administration want top happen and the new Trump Administration wants to stop.

    Make your choice people, GO TRUMP FOR AMERICA!

  24. Roll Through says:

    Momma always said, if you play in traffic you’ll get run over.

  25. Muike0oSS says:

    Sadly..their rights supersede your right to be at work on time….jus’ sayin’…

  26. Jim Morrison says:

    If it was the Racist Tax Cheat, Al Sharpton, with his Hands in the Air having one of his I Can’t Breathe ‘protests’ the NYPD and the Liberal Media would be Cool-Day-La with it and be looking the other way

  27. Prelusive007 says:

    Just Democrats leftwingnuts being leftwingnuts. And that’s why we call them “leftwingnuts”.

    If people would just get out of their cars and whip their a _ _ this kind of stupidity would stop in America.

    NO MORE TOLERANCE

  28. thrushjz says:

    I’m an oppressed people under Obama…what are they complaining about?

  29. Robbocop says:

    Just give them what they want and they will go away, for a while.
    Stoopid NY’rs. So thoughtful and sophisticated. So easily manipulated.

  30. Treefidy says:

    Round them up and fly them one way ticket to Mexico City.

  31. VillageViking says:

    Welcome to the “progressive” agenda…how much sympathy do I have for NY? ZERO!

  32. Mark Matis says:

    If “Law Enforcement” refuse to deal with these criminals appropriately, then KILL these invaders.

    And if the pigs then come after you for doing THEIR job, kill them as well. The stench is overwhelming.

  33. hokkoda says:

    I love watching illegals make the case for Donald Trump! Keep it up dummies, you probably got Trump another 10,000 votes in NY. Not that it’ll matter…NY is a socialist state that will vote Hillary…but every vote counts!

  34. patriot says:

    By the looks of the comments here, I sense a TRUMP LANDSLIDE! HE is RIGHT! The MEDIA LIES!

  35. More Welfare Dependents says:

    Since this is NYC, the illegals’ message should be more blunt.
    Buy a road billboard sign for the bridge.
    “Dear New York, You F***ing Owe Us”. With a middle finger.

    That’s the true message they’re sending America.

  36. fb says:

    Another reason to VOTE for TRUMP on NOV 8th

  37. Jim Bob says:

    LOVE IT…..Even the NY Liberals will be voting for Trump after these a–hole protestors ruin their day.

  38. vote clinton and you’ll get a lot, lot more of this.

  39. jeff says:

    Need to make sure the bolts on my brush guard are tight.

  40. Ra says:

    Way to win hearts & minds, Pedro.

  41. dan marks says:

    Seems like kidnapping to me. Deadly force is allowed to prevent a kidnapping.

    What happens when isis pulls this stunt, and blocks the bridge with trucks, then starts shooting motorists from both in front and behind?

    Run the illegals down, I would be fearing for my life when these illegals kidnap me by holding me on a bridge.

  42. Alice says:

    It is illegal to block the road. Not a protest! It’s an act to harass and intimidate civilians. And many times to physically attack them! People are getting sick of this stupidity, while our leaders laugh and smile about it.

  43. Ed Harley says:

    Time to open fire…

  44. Mike says:

    I see another bump for Trump… Keep it up democrats, keep it up.

  45. blueeyesli says:

    Excellent job by the Port Authority Police.

  46. Nancy says:

    I thought they were living in the “shadows”?

  47. Mondo Sierra says:

    As long as you keep voting in Democrats, Illegal Aliens will have more rights than YOU.

  48. blueeyesli says:

    This is a great Country, you can enter here illegally than protest you want the right to vote and protest disrupting the lives of thousands of commuters. The Liberal ideas care causing this mess with no end in sight. Vote TRUMP.

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