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. “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”

    HEY AZZWIPE, VOTING IS FOR CITIZENS ONLY. GFY

  2. girlkansas says:

    This is bound to help Trump.

  3. “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.”

    no, it was a terrorist act today also. there just weren’t any casualties… that we know of

  4. Neo Communism on display, and I have to wonder if the NY liberals will know it’s because of the people they have voted for. Trump will get elected if we don’t let them discourage us from voting by telling us the election is over. New Yorkers you want more of this then vote for Hillary. If not vote for Trump.

  5. Bob Gorski says:

    If illegals I am hoping they were then deported?

  6. constitution1st says:

    What part of Illegal don’t you get?

  7. Keith Allen says:

    I would give them the right to be a speed bump.

  8. Vote for Trump and stop these thugs.

  9. More is going to happen, NY be decisive, now is not the time for touchy-feely. They will walk all over you. Need some help how to be decisive? Contact Donald
    or
    Go to the streets dept, sign out one of those front loaders. Check the movie Soylent Green for instruction

  10. Ethan Wayne says:

    look like it’s time for death race 2000,lol.

  11. Actually they only do this because they think that no one will just keep on driving through. The cops say that you can’t stop anyone from doing what they want. Yes, you can, it’s called hitting the horn and not hitting the brake.

  12. We catch You are going to a mental processing area,for seventy two hours, When found guilty you will be deported ASAP,If you come back automatic five years, Come back again fifteen years. Use Mexico’s immagration laws,

  13. Terry Miller says:

    It’s like pregnancy, you either have order or you don’t. Restore order at all costs, including lives.

  14. Hope all the Hillary voters think TWICE about who and what they are supporting.

  15. Burt Burtski says:

    George Soros at work trying to allow illegals to vote for Crooked Hillary (he’s a major donor to her). This is exactly how Soros manipulates elections – including owning 16% of the TOTAL electronic voting machines ALL in battleground states… Hello America? Wake up please – Signed Canadian.

    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=977

  16. Michael Coy says:

    Fact/Proof, Illegal Immigrants have more rights than American Citizens. Fact/Proof Hillary/Democrats can’t fight a decent battle. They have to lie, cheat & steal the election. Many celebrities don’t care about the health & welfare of our nation or it’s people. And for those who still refuse to see the trees for the forest, a song from the 60’s: “Although he was a blind boy with eyes he could not see. There’s many of men with perfect sight who is much more blind than he.” Songs on youtube: Soldiers & Jesus, God Bless America, God Bless America Again, Save the Country, Deck of Cards by Flom, Mike Combs sing I’m Not for Sale.

  17. This illegal activity has to stop or people will get hurt. I think Americans are really getting very tired of these illegal activities and there will be consequences if laws aren’t obeyed.

  18. We should be marching on the IRS and refusing to pay taxes until the Feds do their jobs and protect our borders. If they can chose to ignore immigration laws, we can chose to ignore the income tax laws!

    1. Michael Coy says:

      Some soldiers a couple yrs ago said they wished they could walk into the white house and make a Citizen Arrest to Obama and impeach him. They put a Muslin in the White House, now they want a professional criminal, Hillary.

  19. Bill Greer says:

    Run their illegal asses over and be done with it. These illegal anti-American losers have no rights or even reason for existence in our country. Thank you Democrats, you’re importing your votes at the destruction of our country.

  20. this question is for all of the liberal morons do you still think they have the right to be here ? and if they want certain rights then why cant they protest for those rights in their countries ?

  21. Doug Oritz says:

    They do have the “right to vote”. In their own country. Get the H#LL OUT!

  22. I thought liberals were against closing bridges?

  23. “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.”

    Well DUHHHH…you don’t have the right to vote BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT CITIZENS AND ARE CRIMINALS!! Yes you consume. You consume ALL OF OUR WELFARE MONEY, HOSPITAL SERVICES, EDUCATION SERVICES AND DO NOT PAY FOR IT!! I am so sick of these criminals coming into OUR HOME and DEMANDING we give and give and give to them because they don’t like being criminals and have to hide!! AWWWWW poor illegal! GO HOME WHERE YOU CAN VOTE ALL YOU WANT AND LEAVE US ALONE AND GET OUT!! If you come into someone elses home you are expected to abide by their rules and laws NOT DEMAND WE FOLLOW YOUR THIRD WORLD S**THOLE LAWS!

    If I were driving I would have run some of them over if they decided to try and block me. THAT is what it going to take; people saying ENOUGH of these criminals trying to run and ruin OUR country. You want to stand in the middle of a freeway at rush hour, guess what? Cars will hit you!

  24. George Arias says:

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN, AND I SUPPORT THEM ALL A BILLION PERCENT! CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, NY TIMES AND EVERY ONE IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA REFUSES TO TELL THE TRUTH, CAUSE THEY’RE IN TANK FOR A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR, WHO WILL SCREW THIS COUNTRY FOREVER. TRUMP TIME PEOPLE!

  25. Janet Noll says:

    We need California to grow up and come out of their stoned daze and look around, look at the price of real estate, look at the lack of jobs, the high taxes the high cost of everything including food in your state. This was all caused by the Liberals who run your country. I live in a conservative state and we have no taxes, no taxes except one small sales tax. Take that. California it is time for you to wake up and vote Republican, we can bring those taxes down, increase jobs and take back the streets. Californians wake up before immigrants get you kicked out of your own homes with squatter laws and take all the jobs.

  26. I for one would not stop. That banner would not stop an f250!

  27. Pay taxes and can’t vote? Simple. Don’t pay taxes and LEAVE. 😉

  28. Use one of the 18 wheelers to cut a path through the trash for all the other drivers to follow through.

  29. Neil Walsh says:

    Couldn’t happen in a better place. You reap what you sow you liberal a holes in NYC!

  30. Sounds like they just got Trump a lot of votes…!

  31. Just run them over, they’re endangering the lives of the motorists. Blocking roads is unamerican, figures these wet backs don’t know how to behave. Why weren’t they collected by DHS/border patrol and deported? Answer: America’s government is wholly corrupt.

  32. Cristina Rey says:

    Vote Trump. Seems like citizens have no rights anymore.

  33. Mike DiGioia says:

    Non-citizen voting rights!! Really, then why have citizenship? so we can be forced into draft?

  34. In Miami, their asses would have been plowed through. The Cubans tried doing it on SR 836 during Elian, and they got a rude awakening. It will come. People will finally have enough of it. Protesters better heed the warning. I’ve seen it happen. Protest on the damn sidewalks. Don’t put people’s lives and careers in danger for your selfish wants and desires.

  35. Gordon Corey says:

    Run the pricks over. Trump 2016.!!!

  36. Americans have had ENOUGH! Fire hose ’em then arrest them and fine them! If they are not here legally. SEND ‘EM BACK!

  37. Kelly Laraia says:

    The media will blame Christie.

  38. This is the best news for Trump; liberals showing how they feel by disrupting 1000’s of peoples lives, work, families. Nothing gets out the republican vote like a liberal making you late for work

  39. Elliot Foley says:

    “…The majority of immigrant people, we don’t have the right to vote.”

    ILLEGAL aliens are NOT immigrants!

  40. jasonn13 says:

    SPEED BUMPS… THUMP-THUMP…

  41. Kim A Kirk says:

    Law enforcement is afraid to do their job because they fear obama’s DOJ…. if you vote Hillary then you’re voting for more of this nonsense.

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