A tense standoff in Times Square and near Police Plaza on Saturday during an “Abolish ICE” protest resulted in 89 arrests of demonstrators who attempted to block streets at both locations, police officials said.
The protests were spurred by reports that doctors at a Georgia facility operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency performed unneeded hysterectomies on immigrant women detained there. Despite denials by the agency, protests have sprung up in numerous cities.
The arrests began on Sept. 19 when protestors staged a sit-in, blocking traffic in Times Square and near One Police Plaza. Police immediately moved in, warned the crowd that they would be arrested if they didn’t move out of the street.
An NYPD message blasted from a loud speakers alerting protesters that they were “unlawfully in the roadway and obstructing vehicular traffic.”
Police were also tossing bicycles onto the sidewalk that protestors were using to block the street and arrests. The incident resulted in traffic being blocked on Broadway near West 46th Street for about an hour.
Protestors made a human wall with them interlocking arms to deny vehicle traffic to move along Broadway.
A second group of protesters were arrested near Pearl and Madison Streets, near Police Plaza, where they too attempted to block the streets. The protestors tried to make their way to Federal Plaza, but were blocked by throngs of police.
Police officials say 43 men and 46 women participating in the protests were arrested over the course of Saturday. Most were issued desk appearance tickets for blocking the streets, though a few were hit with resisting arrest charges.
No injuries were reported, police said.