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Pro-Palestinian protesters block streets outside Chicago area manufacturing facility

Pro-Palestinian protest blocks streets outside Niles manufacturing plant
Pro-Palestinian protest blocks streets outside Niles manufacturing plant 00:35

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters on Wednesday blocked streets outside a manufacturing facility in north suburban Niles, claiming the company is complicit in the deaths of thousands of civilians in Gaza.

Niles police said the protest began around 6 a.m. at the intersection of Howard Street and Croname Road.

About 100 protesters blocked streets near the Woodward manufacturing plant in Niles. Police said several protesters tied themselves together using PVC pipe, chicken wire, and duct tape, then sat in the street to block traffic. Protesters also blocked access to several parking lots in the area.

The protesters claimed Woodward makes parts for Boeing that are used in missiles and bombs being dropped in Gaza. Protesters said that makes Woodward complicit in the deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

Woodward manufactures various industrial, hydraulic, and aerospace parts - including guidance systems for missiles and bombs, according to its website. However, it's unclear if the Niles plant manufactures any military equipment.  

The protesters were demanding that Woodward stop helping supply weapons to Israel's war effort. They're also calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

More than 27,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's military offensive in Gaza since Oct. 7, after a Hamas surprise attack in Israel killed more than 1,200 Israelis.  

Police said protesters ignored repeated orders to leave the street. During the protest, police contacted the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System, a police mutual aid system, to bring in its Mobile Field Force, a unit specializing in responding to civil disturbances. Officers later removed the restraints protesters had used to tie themselves together, before taking several people into custody.

A total of 26 women and 7 men were arrested on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly, and have been released from custody.

Streets outside Woodward were reopened by about 12:30 p.m.

Woodward representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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