President Biden's visit to Manhattan sparks protests, traffic jams in New York City

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Thursday, February 8, 2024
President Biden's visit to Manhattan sparks protests, traffic jams
N.J. Burkett has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New Yorkers were met with traffic jams and protests as President Joe Biden spent Wednesday afternoon and early evening in Manhattan.

Police say 61 protesters were summonsed for disorderly conduct and released after blocking Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side ahead of the president's third and final fundraising stop Wednesday afternoon.

Biden was in New York City for three private campaign events as he crisscrossed between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side.

The protesters, wearing shirts that said "Jews say ceasefire now!" entered the roadway just after 4 p.m. to protest Biden's support of Israel's war on Hamas.

Police cleared Fifth Avenue ahead of Biden's arrival at the home of Maureen White and her husband, financier Steven Rattner. Actor Robert De Niro joined about 50 other guests at the final stop, which started roughly on time despite the demonstration.

Earlier in the afternoon, it was estimated there were a couple hundred people at a protest at Columbus Circle.

The NYPD mobilized to close streets and control crowds of demonstrators.

Drivers were advised to avoid traveling in Midtown or the east and west sides because of the rolling street closures throughout the day.

Street closures were in place on the Upper West Side - Broadway to West End Avenue in the 70s and 80s - and the Upper East Side - along Madison Avenue in the 80s.

WATCH | Heather O'Rourke details what to know about the traffic impact:

Heather O'Rourke has road closures planned for President Biden's visit today,

The president departed by 8 p.m. and was back in Washington, D.C. Wednesday night.

Separately, President Biden announced he is hosting a blockbuster campaign fundraiser in New York City on March 28, with former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton as guests.

No venue has yet been selected, although Radio City Music Hall is under consideration.

ALSO READ | Exclusive: NYPD cracks down on illegal scooters amid investigation into officers attacked

Josh Einiger has the exclusive report.


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