Pro-Palestinian demonstrators block traffic on I-94 near Greenfield

DEARBORN, Mich (FOX 2) - Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked a pair of lanes on I-94 Thursday afternoon before Michigan State Police broke up the protest.

About 25 vehicles blocked the left two lanes of the freeway at Greenfield, as protesters waived Palestinian flags and displayed large signs stating, "This is an Israeli check point," and "Palestinians have to go through this everyday."

New Generation for Palestine organized the demonstration, determined to deliver a message.

"Today was an opportunity for us to showcase what Palestinians experience under occupation," said one of the organizers, Lexis Zeidan.

The protest started just before 5 p.m. and lasted about 35 minutes.

"They didn’t realize they were going to get a little Palestine 101 academy – of learning and seeing what an Israeli checkpoint feels like for Palestinians," Zeidan said. "They go through hundreds of checkpoints every single day. Thousands of Palestinians, humiliated, in un-sanitized conditions, treated poorly, and so we wanted people on the highway to be able to understand that, and to encourage them to call for a cease-fire and an end to the occupation."

State troopers responded to the disturbance and said they were met with opposition in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. It led to reinforcements and tow trucks being contacted to tow the obstructing vehicles.

<div>Courtesy: MDOT</div>
Courtesy: MDOT

"When troopers arrived the pedestrians were found to be protesting and were extremely aggressive towards the troopers," MSP posted.

The protesters then got back in their vehicles and left, with MSP saying that one citation was issued to the organizer and no vehicles were towed.

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"While we respect everyone’s right to protest, the freeway is not the place to stop and exit your vehicle," said MSP 1st Lt. Mike Shaw. "The danger created to other drivers and the pedestrians themselves is too great."

<div>Courtesy: MDOT</div>
Courtesy: MDOT

Despite opposition, demonstrators and organizers said they would continue to speak up for Palestinians.

"Over 1.4 million people are now homeless in Gaza. Over 11,000 innocent lives have been killed, and over 5,000 children –we’re not talking about adults– 5,000 children have been murdered," said Adam Abusalah, another organizer.