Armenian-American protesters shut down both sides of the Hollywood (170) Freeway, just north of the interchange of the Hollywood (101) and Ventura (134) freeways at Riverside Drive Sunday.
The protest, which did not produce a SigAlert, came on the heels of pro-Armenian demonstrations that began Saturday night. Protesters in Hollywood supporting Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region blocked the 101 in both directions at Bronson Avenue for nearly three hours, according to media reports.
The protest began shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday on surface streets a few blocks west of the freeway, as at least 100 cheering demonstrators blocked several lanes of Hollywood Boulevard at Van Ness Avenue and Vine Street, video posted to the Citizen social news app showed.
The CHP was asked to respond to the southbound side of the freeway at 9:30 p.m., according to Officer Don Conley of the agency’s Traffic Management Center.
Video from CBS2 showed a small group of demonstrators who forced the freeway closure by 10:15 p.m., although no SigAlert was issued, the CHP said.
The protesters were highlighting the ongoing fighting in a breakaway region of Azerbaijan that observers fear could escalate into a proxy war between Russia and Turkey — and even Iran, all of whom are vying for control.
Although tensions in the area date back to the Soviet era, things heated up Sept. 27, when Armenia established martial law and Azerbaijan declared war. At least 230 people have been killed since the clashes began, the highest casualty rate in the region since 2016.
All lanes of the 101 had reopened by 11:54 p.m., Conley said.