a building with a curved roof and a parking lot with cars parked in front
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Protests Do Not Belong on Access Roads at Airports.

Better — and more appropriate — locations to be heard are available.

Activists who sympathize with the people who identify as Palestinians blocked the access roads of both John F. Kennedy airport and Los Angeles International Airport earlier today, Wednesday, December 27, 2023 to let themselves be known and heard with regard to their cause. The main problem is that protests do not belong on access roads at airports.

Protests Do Not Belong on Access Roads at Airports.

Access roads were blocked at both airports, which caused massive traffic jams and resulted in people either walking to the terminals or missing their flights. At least 62 people were reported to have been arrested by law enforcement officers at both airports, which included at least 26 activists arrested in New York.

Protesters parked a vehicle in each land, locked arms, waved flags, and held banners which demanded an end to the war between Hamas and Israel — as well as expanded rights for Palestinian people. Traffic was immobile for approximately 20 minutes on the Van Wyck Expressway in New York.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey dispatched two buses which offered rides to travelers who were unexpectedly involved in the backup of traffic to allow them to reach the terminals of the airport safely.

In Los Angeles, 35 people were arrested for rioting; while one additional person was arrested for committing battery of a police officer.

Final Boarding Call

Although the protests were mostly peaceful, they were also disruptive and unlawful. Innocent people who were simply attempting to travel were greatly — and unnecessarily — inconvenienced. My guess is that most of those travelers who were impacted by the protests ultimately did not sympathize with the cause of the activists when all was said and done.

The activists have every right to peacefully protest whatever cause in which they truly believe; and I fully support that right — whether or not I agree with their cause…

…but numerous other more appropriate places to be heard are available than blocking the access roads of airports. Needlessly inconveniencing people typically does not solve problems or issues. Rather, more problems and issues are usually caused — as well as increased animosity towards the people who attempt to advance their cause.

I am not sure what I would do if protesters impeded me from access to an airport and prevented me from getting to the gate on time for my flight…

…and I would rather not find out.

Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

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