Protesters Against Israel’s War on Gaza Block North Carolina Highway

Protesters block NC Highway 147 on November 2. Image source: Jenny Warburg via Indyweek.

On Thursday afternoon, November 2, the Durham, North Carolina branch of Jewish Voices For Peace led 200 or more protestors against Israel’s merciless war on the people of Gaza in a lunch hour march through downtown Durham. Protesters then marched onto a nearby highway where some 40 sat down, blocking traffic for more than two hours during rush hour. Demonstrators called for an immediate ceasefire and condemned local Democratic party Congresswoman Valerie Foushee for her vocal support of the murderous far-right-wing government of Israeli President Netanyahu.

The highway blockade is the most militant pro-Palestinian demonstration so far in the central North Carolina region nicknamed the Triangle, which includes the cities of Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill. Defenders of the Palestinians have also organized weekly Sunday rallies in Raleigh’s Moore Square, with as many as 400 people attending. At least five busloads of demonstrators made the 11-hour round trip to join the thousands marching in Washington to demand the U.S. government cease military aid to the Israeli armed forces and that President Biden call for an immediate ceasefire.

The police didn’t arrest any of the protesters blocking the highway. The next day, prominent GOP officeholders complained that Durham police had allowed the highway blockage to continue for several hours before dispersing it at sunset. Responding to this criticism, the Durham Police Department obliged the MAGA politicians by issuing warrants on Saturday for four activists it claimed organized the highway blockage, saying its “investigation is continuing.”