Abolish ICE protest to end migrant deportation in Manhattan brings city to standstill

A group of protesters calling for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to be abolished brought traffic in midtown Manhattan to a halt Monday (July 15) evening, leading to dozens of arrests.

The group held banners in the middle of West 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue demanding the camps housing undocumented immigrants be closed immediately.

The demonstrators stopped traffic during rush hour, with traffic coming down Fifth Avenue completely halted for about 20 blocks coming down from Central Park. Police began diverting traffic at West 47th Street to ease on some of the congestion that had been building. Traffic on West 42nd Street was stopped between Sixth Avenue and Madison Avenue.

The protest, which started around 5:30 p.m. and was not sanctioned by the NYPD, featured people sitting in the middle of the road. At one point a toilet could be seen in the intersection.

Police arrested around 40 participants, according to reports. Even as the officers began taking people away in handcuffs, many protesters remained sitting and chanting. After about a half hour, some buses stuck on Fifth Avenue were allowed to pass by the intersection as the road cleared slightly.