Virginia Governor Slams Disruptive Protest on Interstates

( – The Republican governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, will not tolerate highway protests in his state. Protestors supporting Hamas in Gaza brought ladders, chains, and other materials onto a segment of an interstate and stopped traffic at around 7 a.m. on March 11. Police responded to the scene and attempted to move the disruptors to the shoulder of the road.

Members of the group were wearing clothing that read “STOP GENOCIDE” and they made use of a “sleeping dragon” device. A sleeping dragon is the term for materials used to link protestors together, making them harder to separate and remove. The sleeping dragon this group used was made of PVC piping connected by a large chain and surrounded with chicken wire. The initial group was nine people. Three surrendered to the police quickly, and the other six were eventually separated and also arrested.

Governor Youngkin thanked police for their effective response and said these types of protests put lives in danger. The police removed protestors after about ten minutes and the highway was re-opened at around 10:30 a.m. The protestors have been charged with unlawful assembly, pedestrian presence on an interstate, and obstructing the free passage of others. This form of protest has been popular since the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza broke out in October. New York has seen several similar actions, delaying traffic on highways and into airports.

Protests have been arranged in major cities throughout the world. Most feature people carrying Palestinian flags and demanding a “cease-fire.” The Biden administration has recently made statements favoring a cease-fire despite their prior support of the Israeli forces. The war has also resulted in vessels being sunk in the Red Sea due to sympathizing Houthi Muslims in the region. Supporters of the cease-fire were hoping to have something in place before the Ramadan holiday stretch began but that has not happened.

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