Protesters disrupted Mexican-U.S. border-crossing stations on Sunday, shutting one of them down for hours. But they were demonstrating against Mexico, not America.
The protesters, who were angered by steep hikes in gas prices in Mexico, shut down southbound traffic at the San Diego-Tijuana San Ysidro crossing, which is the busiest station along the entire 2,000-mile border between Mexico and the U.S. About 50 million people make the journey through the crossing annually.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and California Highway Patrol officers closed southbound Interstate 5 for five hours to block access to the crossing after Mexican agents abandoned their posts. When demonstrators appeared at the nearby Otay Mesa port of entry, protesters waved signs at passing drivers heading into Mexico, some of whom honked in support.
“We’re exercising our right to free speech,” a Tijuana college student told The Associated Press.
Demonstrators also managed to shut down a crossing in Nogales, Arizona, according to AP. Routine border inspections were not disrupted for cars entering the U.S. from Mexico.
Thousands have protested at border crossings in recent weeks. Although the demonstrations are not related to President Donald Trump’s call for a border wall between the two nations, they may be a sign of the kind of disruption that could occur over the barrier’s construction.