Protesters shut down Hollywood and Highland intersection while calling for cease-fire in Gaza

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Hundreds of protesters forced the closure of a major intersection in Hollywood on Wednesday afternoon while calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

The mass of demonstrators, some of whom sat down in the street at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, prompted the LAPD to shut down Hollywood Boulevard between Orange Drive and Las Palmas.

Highland Avenue was closed between Franklin place and Sunset Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Drivers were urged to use alternate routes and avoid the area.

Some of the protesters wore black sweatshirts with the words “JEWS SAY CEASE FIRE NOW” printed in white on the back.


Demonstrators block an intersection during a sit-in demanding a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

“The LAPD’s objective is to ensure public safety for ALL, while facilitating the First Amendment rights of those peacefully demonstrating,” the agency said in a statement. “Equally the Department will enforce the law when individuals engage in acts of violence.”

No arrests were made. LAPD announced just before 9 p.m. that roads had reopened.

In a news release issued before the demonstration, organizers with the groups Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow said the protest would be “one of the largest-ever acts of civil disobedience in Los Angeles. It will take place in Hollywood, which has long been a site of organizing for labor rights, critiquing of state violence, and storytelling that speaks truth to power – of which Jewish creatives have often been part.”

Also on Wednesday, police in the nation’s capital responded to a protest outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

U.S. Capitol Police said about 150 people were “illegally and violently protesting” near the DNC headquarters building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington. Members of Congress were evacuated from the building as the protest erupted.

Protesters included members of IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace, who have organized other demonstrations in Washington.

Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat whose district includes Malibu and parts of the San Fernando Valley, said he was evacuated from the building by police after protesters began “pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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